INAUGURAL NYC NSF GK-12 Grant Holders Meeting 

May 20th at Polytechnic University

Meeting Agenda


Our inaugural New York City NSF GK-12 Grant Holders Meeting will be held at Polytechnic University on Friday, May 20, 2005.  This full-day conference will begin at 9:00 am and conclude at 3:00 pm.  Participants will include faculty representatives from the four GK-12 projects in New York City (i.e., two are located at Columbia University, one at CUNY Graduate School and University Center and one at Polytechnic University) which are funded by the National Science Foundation, Fellows participating in the four projects, teachers in participating schools and representatives from the New York City Department of Education. 

A fuller description of the program may be found at or  A full agenda will be posted by early May.

Directions to reach Polytechnic University are available at 

Our purpose is to bring together participants from the GK-12 programs funded by NSF to discuss the major issues that challenge all programs and especially those in urban areas.  In addition, we will provide an opportunity for representative examples of the work of the four projects to be displayed and explained.  It is our intent to explore the major challenges and workable solutions which affect all aspects of GK-12 work.  A “poster session” will display how the GK-12 Fellows support learning in area classrooms.  Ultimately, we hope to define common goals and directions, provide broad access to resources, and build an interactive community of teachers, Fellows and GK-12 programs in the New York City area.  A culminating activity for the day will be an informal discussion of identified issues in order to identify top-ranked best practices, pitfalls to avoid, and workable techniques.

You may register to attend this meeting by transmitting an e-mail before May 10th to Carmen Seda at Poly or to your institution’s representative: Prof. Elizabeth Sklar, or Prof. Leonard Fine, or Prof. Theodore Brown  All participants must pre-register by this date.  In addition to your name, please list the following:

1.       Your e-mail address

2.       Your telephone number

3.       The institution with which you are affiliated, and

4.       Whether you are a faculty member, a Fellow, a teacher or a Dept. of Education representative. 

We look forward to meeting you on May 20th.




NYC NSF GK-12 Grant Holders Meeting


Instructions for breakout discussion sessions


There will be three breakout sessions: one for Fellows, one for the grant administrators and one for the teachers. DOE attendees are free to participate in whichever group they wish.



Time Schedule/Agenda for discussion groups


General guidelines and discussion rules:

• Relate experiences to constructive points and advice that is useful to others in the group. Keep your comments short.

• Ask relevant questions to the topics and discussion issues at hand – stay on track and avoid significant tangents.

• Information that you found incredibly useful is most likely useful to others, share it.

• Try to prioritize and categorize.

• Shy away from instance-specific discussion; try to generalize your experiences and transform them into ideas that affect everyone involved.




First 2 minutes: Scribe volunteers or is assigned by moderator.

2-4 minutes: Moderator introduces topic, relevant questions, and gets discussion started.

Keep the discussions moving so all questions are discussed

2-12 minutes: each topic or subgroup discussion



Discussion topics


• What issues have arisen that could have been avoided with better information and questions beforehand; better organization and coupling of participants?

• What information is beneficial to me? How can my input prove relevant and constructive to others?

• In hindsight, what would I like to see changed in the GK-12 program?

  In my aspect of it? In other aspects? [Unclear as to what you mean]

• If you have 30 seconds to impart GK-12 wisdom to newcomers, what would you say? What pearl of wisdom do you wish you had been told upon starting your GK-12 experience?

• What is special about the urban environment in which you are working?

• (For Fellows only) What are you taking away from this experience that will be valuable in your future career?



For each discussion session, here is a rough agenda to keep conversation moving and get the most of the time blocks allocated. Moderators will be chosen and notified prior to the meeting to help facilitate the discussion at each table. Moderators will first choose a scribe, who will keep notes of the most important unanimous statements of the group. (Bring laptops if you have them). The biggest challenge and suggested solution will be presented from each session to the entire group at the end of each 60-minute block. Note: Outline topics on whiteboard/poster board


12-15 minutes

• Continued discussion of next questions/issues of topic

• Moderator begins to shape discussion toward what should be reported

• 3 major challenges, with 1 most significant challenge to report back. Focus on specific suggestions for workable solutions

Bell will sound, indicating that the moderator must move the group along to consider the next set of questions. 16-30 Minutes

• Repeat for next topic of discussion


31- 45 minutes

• Repeat for next topic of discussion

• At end: Collect scribe’s notes to submit