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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU offers educators a wealth of professional development experiences

As students pour back into area schools this month, almost 1,000 teachers will be better prepared because of participation in professional development events held by New Mexico State University's College of Education, in partnership with areas across campus.

Loma Heights Elementary School fifth-grade teachers Lesli Gomez and Jeremy Sanchez dissect owl pellets during a content area session of the New Mexico State University Scientifically Connected Communities Summer Institute. (Courtesy photo)

More than 930 teachers received professional development experiences through eight NMSU programs. The events took place throughout the summer, on the NMSU campus and in the surrounding area.

"We are committed to providing excellent educational opportunities for students and educators. The college, as well as state and federally funded grants, foundations and business partners have supported more than 50 initiatives that provide services to children and schools," said Michael Morehead, dean of the College of Education.

The Math Snacks summer camp was a collaboration between the College of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Learning Games Lab and was held at Sunrise Elementary for fifth- through eighth-grade students. With the help of mentors from NMSU, teachers developed activities that extended learning from technology-based learning tools, including games such as Pearl Diver, to other hands-on activities. The camp was part of a National Science Foundation-funded project to develop games and animations on mobile technologies that will help students overcome conceptual gaps in mathematics.

Scientifically Connected Communities held several events for teachers, including the Summer Institute and the Summer of Innovation. The institute helped teachers keep abreast of current information and gave them new ways to bring science to life for their students.

NMSU partnered with the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium for the Summer of Innovation workshop, where more than 130 teachers participated in sessions addressing microgravity, including the science behind it and how it affects objects. The sessions prepared teachers to run their own summer camps.

As well as providing workshops for students during the summer, the Southern New Mexico Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy provided professional development covering SNM SEMAA's aerospace curriculum for 40 educators.

Mathematically Connected Communities held summer academies for sixth- through 12th-grade teachers in June. About 219 teachers from 24 districts in the state participated. MC2 also held a leadership institute for 32 teachers on the NMSU campus. Participants will attend mathematics and education classes during the next two years to prepare to become leaders in mathematics education.

Thanks to a MC2 grant, more than 100 teachers participated in the TERC Mathematics Academy in August. During the three-day academy, elementary teachers were able to focus on computing and computation and fractions, decimals and percents with colleagues.

The Advanced Placement Summer Institute offered College Board Training in June. Educators from across New Mexico, Texas, California and Montana who work with students in seventh-12th grade were provided with the skills and knowledge to provide rigorous curriculum to their students.