Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Florida Volunteer Continues Effort to Strengthen Science Education in the DR

Patricia Thomas poses with Farmer to Farmer Staff
and ISA's Academic Dean at a teacher training  at ISA
Patricia Thomas, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Science Specialist with the Florida Department of Education, kicked off her second "Flex" volunteer assignment with Partners' Farmer to Farmer Program just over 1 week ago. Patricia arrived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on August 18th and will remain in-country until September 1st to provide training to primary and secondary-level natural science teachers in best practices for natural sciences instruction. These hands-on workshops are being carried out to support the Natural Science and Engineering Training Program at el Instituto Superior de Agricultura (ISA University) in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Training with science and math teachers in Azua Province

During her first Flex assignment with ISA in May 2011, Patricia's training focused largely on physics education. She conducted workshops with over 50 teachers on why and how to use labs in a high school physics classroom, introduced a handful of simple, low-cost projects that can be completed in the classroom and which demonstrate various physics concepts, and provided a list of lab equipment necessary for a physics classroom.

Science teachers in San Juan de la Maguana Province pose
with their project
Patricia continues her support of ISA's Natural Science and Engineering Training Program through her current assignment, which so far has taken her to Santo Domingo Teacher's College in the capital city, Azua Province, and San Juan de la Maguana Province. Tropical Storm Isaac caused an unexpected delay in her agenda late last week, but she was able to get back on schedule with her first training of week 2 yesterday in the North Central Region of the country.

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