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32 Teachers Expected at Science Institute July 12-24

PULLMAN, Wash. — Thirty-two Washington elementary and middle schools are expected to attend two one-week Summer Science Institutes at Washington State University between July 12-24.

“The state of Washington is going through education reform and science education is one of the areas being reformed,” said Deb Nelson, institute coordinator.  “Many elementary school teachers, in particular, do not have a strong science background, which makes it difficult for them to teach science to their classes.

“We give them five curricula, which they experience here.  They can  take them back and use them in their classes next fall.  What’s really exciting is that  kids get to do more hands on science and that’s how kids learn best.”

The curriculum topics:

  • Get a Jump on Germs: Making Food Safer.  Students explore areas of food safety and microbiology.
  • From Ridges to Rivers.  This curriculum helps students explore watershed and environmental issues.
  • Exploring the World of Small Animals.  Children learn to develop an appreciation and understanding of animal well-being.
  • Using Live Insects in the Classroom: Lessons for Life.  Teachers will learn how to raise insects in the classroom and use them to teach a variety of subjects.
  • It Came from Planted Earth.  Youth explore the relationship of agriculture to their daily lives.

“Everything during the institutes is hands on,” Nelson said. “It’s not lecture and it’s not demonstration.  Instructors will show the teacher how they would teach an activity to their class.  Then the teachers will do it themselves.”

While on campus, the teachers also will tour labs in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, the College of Veterinary Medicine and visit the Planetarium, among other sites of scientific interest. Nelson said about 20 teachers are from last year’s class are returning. The institutes are sponsored by the WSU departments of animal sciences and human development.

(Editors and Broadcasters: You are welcome to come and try out some of the experiments yourself.  Contact Deb Nelson at (509) 335-2205 or

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