For a decade, Brazos Valley area educators have benefited from hands-on workshops and high-impact professional development activities offered for free by the Texas A&M-College Station Regional Collaborative for Science.


Area educators interested in expanding their educations this fall have several exciting options, courtesy of the Texas A&M-College Station Regional Collaborative for Science.

For more than a decade, the Collaborative has been working to improve student achievement in K-12 mathematics and science by providing quality resources and free professional development activities for their teachers. Since 2005, the organization has hosted a variety of free workshops, seminars, field trips and training events -- each intended to give educators a new perspective on STEM subjects, from teaching and learning them to real-world applications, as well as networking and idea-swapping opportunities.

"Ideally, they will take back what they've learned and share it with other teachers as well as their students," says project director Carolyn M. Schroeder, an associate research scientist with the Texas A&M Center for Mathematics and Science Education (CMSE). "They are all committed to being lifelong learners."

Each workshop features hands-on activities designed to translate back into the classroom. These sessions can count toward professional development hours -- typically six hours per workshop -- as well as continuing education credits. Following completion of each workshop, participants receive a certificate verifying the completed hours.

Texas A&M's is one of nearly 60 P-16 partnerships within the award-winning statewide Texas Regional Collaborative (TRC) network designed to equip teachers with the knowledge and skills to engage students in meaningful science and mathematics learning experiences. Activities are designed to improve students' scientific, mathematical and technological literacy, and to inspire them to pursue science and engineering related careers. Each year the group's annual meeting brings together teacher leaders, education and business leaders, policy makers, and legislators to share, network, communicate and celebrate achievements by the collaboratives.

Click here for additional information on the Texas A&M Regional Collaborative for Science.

To register for any of the following free workshops, email Schroeder at cschroeder@science.tamu.edu, indicating which workshop(s) you plan to attend. All workshops are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

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Saturday, August 29 -- Science for ELL: Participants will learn to effectively address the needs of ELL students in science. However, because good instructional techniques work for all students, this workshop is beneficial for all teachers. Hands-on techniques will be shared. The workshop will be at Mary Branch Elementary in Bryan.

Saturday, September 12 -- The Moon and the Solar System: Why does the moon look different each night? What are the relative sizes and distances of objects in the solar system? Participants will create a model to use in teaching the phases of the moon. We will learn about elliptical orbits and model the motions of the planets as well relative sizes and distances of objects in the solar system. This workshop will be held at the Texas A&M Observatory in partnership with the Brazos Valley Astronomy Club. Participants will receive some nice take-aways! (TEKS 8.7 B)

Saturday, September 19 -- Journaling, Foldables and Fold-a-Lopes for Science: This is a repeat of the August 11 workshop for the benefit of those who were unable to attend on that date. We will meet at College Station High School and make Foldalopes addressing every reporting category for the EOC or STAAR exams. When you leave the workshop, you will have a complete model for your grade level. Students will have everything they need to study for the exam at their fingertips. You can start in the fall and create the booklet throughout the year or wait until spring and make it as a review. The General Journaling/Foldables will create sample journals and foldables for use in any classroom. (All tested TEKS for 5th, 8th and Biology)

Saturday, September 26 -- Give a Hoot About an Owl's Diet: Participants in this workshop led by Mary Ingle from Ward's at Blinn College in Brenham will engage in a lively hands-on, student-centered lesson that utilizes owl pellets to analyze food chains, food webs and ecological pyramids. All participants will receive access to a Biology Scope and Sequence and be eligible for door prizes from Ward's. (TEKS Biology 12C, 2F, G, 3E)

Saturday, October 3 -- Water: We will tour the City of College Station's wastewater treatment plant, be trained in the Major Rivers & Raising Your Water IQ curricula and activities, and demonstrate some water education activities. Registration deadline is September 15. (TEKS 4.7A,C; 5.7B, C; 7.8C; Aq Sci, ESS; Env Sys)

Saturday, October 10 -- Advanced Topics in Environmental Science: This workshop will be held at Jesse Jones Park in Humble. More details to come.

Saturday, October 10 -- Star Party: We will meet at the Salter Research Farm near Calvert at 4 p.m. for those who want to explore. Telescopes will be set up for viewing as it gets dark. The Brazos Valley Astronomy Club, Brazos Valley Master Naturalists and the Texas A&M-College Station Regional Collaborative for Science are invited.

Saturday, October 17 -- Physics: This workshop, to be held at the Jett Center in Conroe, will address middle school physics TEKS.

Saturday, October 24 -- Technology: This workshop will be held at A&M Consolidated Middle School in College Station and address using technology in the classroom.

Saturday, October 31 -- Scary Human Body Systems: In this workshop held at Blinn College in Brenham, we will explore human body systems using models, making models, demonstrations, a pig dissection and augmented reality. Technology is amazing. How does everything work together to keep us a functioning human being? What happens when things go wrong? Participants are asked to bring three to five 1-gallon milk jugs to be used in making a model.

Saturday, November 7 -- Weather Investigations: Why is it hotter at the equator than at the poles? How can we model how winds blow worldwide? How do oceans affect weather systems on land? What causes hurricanes and other storms? Participants in this workshop to be held at Mary Branch Elementary in Bryan will experience activities to take back to their classrooms to help answer these questions. (TEKS 8.10 B, C)

Saturday, November 21 -- Topographic Maps and Satellite Imagery in MS: Participants in this workshop at Salter Farm near Calvert will learn to interpret topographic maps and satellite views to identify landforms and erosional features and predict how these features may be reshaped by weathering and erosion. (TEKS 8.9 C)

Saturday, December 5 -- Photosynthesis: It's lucky for us that plants make their own food and don't need much oxygen. In this workshop to be held at Blinn College in Brenham, we'll learn why as we become familiar with the process of photosynthesis through short lectures and videos, hand-on activities and lab experiments and demonstrations. (TEKS Biology 9.B)

Saturday, December 5 -- Cellular Respiration: Where do we get our energy? We eat, but how does food get transformed into usable energy? In this workshop to be held at Blinn College in Brenham, we will do card sorts, flow charts, concept maps, lab experiments and other hands-on activities as well as explore what happens when there is no oxygen. Where did it all start? (TEKS Biology 9.B)

Saturday, December 12 -- Forensics: More details to come.


Contact: Carolyn M. Schroeder, (979) 458-8001 or cschroeder@science.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • From left, Josalyn Conwell (Lovelady Elementary School) and Laura Stafford (Mary Branch Elementary School, Bryan) take an up-close look at soils using their new SmartScope at an earth systems workshop this past spring.

  • Tanya Mynar (Rockdale Middle School) concentrates on graphing her data collected during a workshop activity.

  • From left, Joan Madden (Leon Elementary School) and Laura Stafford (Mary Branch Elementary School, Bryan) dissect and analyze owl pellets as part of a workshop exploring predator-prey relationships and food webs.

  • TRC Project Director Carolyn Schroeder displays her finished foldalope.

  • From left, Tanya Mynar (Rockdale Middle School), Karen Yancey (Mary Branch Elementary School, Bryan) and Janine Barry (St. Joseph Catholic School, Bryan) get hands-on experience with plant taxonomy and biogeography.

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