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 Twenty-three teachers from across the state of South Dakota attended a Life Science Concepts for Teachers workshop June 17-22, 2012 at Black Hills State University. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Charles Lamb, professor of biology at BHSU and Dr. Janet Briggs, science education specialist at the Center for the Advancement of Math and Science Education (CAMSE) at BHSU. Additional assistance during the workshop was provided by Dr. Garth Spellman, assistant professor of invertebrate biology at BHSU, and BHSU graduate students Kyle Kennedy from Lake City, Minn.,  Jay Jacobs from Reeder, N.D., and Amanda Howe from Rapid City.

Twenty-three teachers from across the state of South Dakota attended a Life Science Concepts for Teachers workshop June 17-22, 2012 at Black Hills State University.

The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Charles

Lamb, professor of biology at BHSU and Dr. Janet Briggs, science education specialist at the Center for the Advancement of Math and Science Education (CAMSE) at BHSU. Additional assistance during the workshop was provided by Dr. Garth Spellman, assistant professor of invertebrate biology at BHSU, and BHSU graduate students Kyle Kennedy from Lake City, Minn., Jay Jacobs from Reeder, N.D., and Amanda Howe from Rapid City.

The class was offered as part of the Science Specialist Endorsement through BHSU, an 18-hour program that serves as a content area within the Masters of Science in Curriculum and Instruction degree, or as a stand-alone endorsement on the teaching certificate for teachers with an existing master’s degree.
 
Teachers in the workshop develop a deep understanding of core life science concepts through field- and laboratory-based activities on aquatic insects, microbes, native plants, and birds, according to Briggs. Participants spent time at several sites in the northern Black Hills gathering data on the diversity of species and then analyzing the data in the laboratory to increase their understanding of the concepts such as stability of populations and change and structures of organisms and their functions.
 
A teacher at Tripp-Delmont, Debby Hopkins, said that as a result of the workshop,  she intend to include more field trips to the environment near my school so that her students can study the bacteria, insects, plants, and birds around them. “This will make the study of biology more engaging for them and might even inspire them to become scientists,” Hopkins says.
The workshop was funded in part through a No Child Left Behind Title II grant written by Briggs and Lamb which provided supplies for the teachers to use in their classrooms as well as lodging and meals for the week. Briggs has received six previous Title II grants that provide funding for teacher professional development in science.

For more information contact Janet Briggs at 642-6875 or Janet.Briggs@BHSU.edu or Charles Lamb at 642-6026 or Charles.Lamb@BHSU.edu.