Teachers from Moss-Nuckols Elementary School spent their summer in an innovative program designed to change how science is taught across Virginia.
Dona Breen and George Parker were selected for the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA), which kicked off with a four-week Elementary Science Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Funded by a $34 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the program is intended to shift science instruction from the traditional teacher-led classroom to a hands-on, problem-based learning lab.
Teachers are also awarded a $5,000 stipend, $1,000 for classroom supplies, and an all-expense-paid trip to the Virginia Association of Science Teachers Professional Development Institute in the fall. Additionally, each teacher is assigned a master teacher to provide mentoring throughout the school year.
VISTA also offers free professional development for new middle and high school science teachers, and district science coordinators.