UNT hosts dual language science teacher summer institute

Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 19:57
Learning about grass and the polymer C-Lignin
Learning about grass and the polymer C-Lignin

DENTON (UNT), Texas — This month, three North Texas science teachers are becoming students again. They are taking part in a summer science institute at the University of North Texas that will help them develop lesson plans in both English and Spanish. 

"There is a great need for more scientists, especially in the Hispanic population," said Rossana Boyd, principal lecturer in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration's Bilingual/ESL Teacher Education Programs. "This institute plants the seeds with teachers who can pass on their new curriculum to their peers and students. In the end we hope to inspire English language learners to become scientists."

The teachers, Sabrina Estrada and Jonathan Hernandez from Denton ISD and Maria Estella Martinez from Irving ISD, are spending three weeks learning from senior UNT scientists in the Department of Biological Sciences and the College of Engineering. They attend classes with research scientists, conduct experiments and develop instructional objectives to create lesson plans that will help pass on their new knowledge to English language learners.

"We are getting great feedback from the teachers," said Richard Dixon, distinguished research professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. "It's also good for our team. We have researchers who are great in the lab and now they are learning to communicate their complicated research directly to the people who matter most, those who teach our children."

The teachers will also be provided with laboratory materials to share with their students. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation and runs through June 30.

About UNT's College of Education

UNT's College of Education prepares students to contribute to the advancement of education, health and human development. Founded in 1890 as a teacher's training college, UNT now enrolls more than 4,000 students in the College of Education, which consists of four departments — counseling and higher education; educational psychology; kinesiology, health promotion and recreation; and teacher education and administration. UNT's College of Education certifies about 1,000 teachers a year — making it the largest producer of new teachers in the north Texas region. Students are also prepared for careers as researchers, counselors, leaders, physical activity and health promotion specialists, child development and family studies specialists and more.

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