Teacher Professional Development

A focus on STEM education is one which calls for the integration of the knowledge and skills in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to provide a meaningful, authentic learning experience. Any reform in education needs to affect the practice of teachers, as teachers are the single-most important factor (among many) that influence K-12 students' learning. CIPCE's major activities focus on developing and implementing professional development initiatives for teachers. These initiatives engage teachers in inquiry-based approaches to teaching in the STEM disciplines, aligned with common core and state standards, making use of 21st century tools and contexts.

Teacher & Leader Quality Partnership (TLQP): Learning to Use Interactive Technologies to Engage Students in STEM Inquiry and Literacy is funded by the New York State Education Department and offered in partnership with The Esteves School of Education at The Sage Colleges.

The aim of this partnership is help improve the practice of participating teachers of grades 2-10, particularly in STEM (science, technology,engineering, math). Teachers form a professional learning community where they are supported to engage students in mathematical practices, scientific inquiry, and/or engineering design in efforts to motivate students and help them meet appropriate learning standards. They learn to use a variety technologies, such as LEGO Robotics, mathematics manipulatives, equipment for scientific investigations, like aquaponic systems or wind turbine building kits, etc.

An Integrated Approach to Teaching Mathematics Using LEGO® Robotics in Middle School and Mathematics Education College Courses, has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).

Teacher Cohort:
We work with a group of highly accomplished teachers, many National Board Certified, who teach in grades 4-8 general education, mathematics, technology and science, from ten diverse school district in New York state. Mentor teachers work with colleagues in their building who share an interest in enriching their classroom experience with Robotics activities.

Project Targets:
Teachers design and implement mathematically rich lessons for NXT LEGO® Robotics using a common framework. Lessons are aligned to the NYS Common Core Learning Standards in Mathematics, provide a physical, real-world context, and aim to authentically assess student learning. Modules are field-tested, revised and shared via our educational resources section.

Teacher Testimonies:
"Students attended to detail and precision in this activity to a degree that I have not experienced in other activities. ... I saw a lot of students discussing with their group how to collect the data most efficiently and accurately." - 7th grade science teacher

"Students were able to take the current event article of the Curiosity rover on Mars and apply math concepts of ratio and proportions by collecting data and then converting unit rates." - 8th grade technology teacher

"I thought that only the more tech-savvy students would be interested but, much to my delight, I saw that just about every single student was excited and actively engaged. I have come to better understand the inquiry process & it is a powerful tool that allows students to discover math rules as opposed to me telling the students them and then practicing." -7th grade math teacher

"Almost all students used multiplication to gat a multiple of 360 degrees as their prediction - without me telling anyone to do this. ...After seeing how excited my students, and other teachers, have been about the robotics program, it has inspired me to keep doing more. I am also looking forward to having other teachers that I work with participate so we can bounce ideas off each other." - 4th grade teacher

Modules developed by the cohort can be viewed and downloaded by visiting our Ed Resources page.