In this program, teachers get an in-depth introduction to the work being done in local science laboratories. Presentations of scientific research are coupled with discussions about practical applications to mathematics and science curriculums. This unusual exposure to cutting-edge science and technology can keep teachers up-to-date in their fields and introduce new ideas for science projects and curriculum supplements.
When 7th and 8th grade students are in the early stages of planning their science projects, WHSTEP pairs scientists and engineers with students to talk one-on-one about their projects. The scientists help the students frame an appropriate question and plan a reliable method of investigation. At local science fairs, WHSTEP helps with judge recrutiment and arranges for member science institutions to exhibit, sharing hands-on activities and materials with attendees.
Family Science Nights (or Outings) are relatively new to WHSTEP, but address our goal to increase science literacy in the community. Recent activities have included a panel presentation on the engineering behind the Titanic exploration, and a tour of a Sea Education Association sailing research vessel.
Scientists or engineers who have resources to offer schools, or who want to consult with teachers about the Broader Impacts portion of a proposal, can partner with WHSTEP. Public lectures, workshops, websites and blogs can be publicized through the WHSTEP liaison network and email list.
By request, WHSTEP offers Staff-Development Programs to teachers from the member schools. In the past such programs have included seminars on Salt Marsh Ecology, Geology of Cape Cod and Salt-Water Aquaria. The content of these programs will vary depending on the needs and desires of the teachers and the resources available to teach such courses. WHSTEP also can arrange tours of Woods Hole labs for new teachers or science departments.