The Packard Center holds professional development workshops and conferences for teachers throughout the year. Below are descriptions of some of the Packard Center’s many successful initiatives.
In Project RAISE (Revitalizing Achievement by using Instrumentation in Science Education), teachers work closely with Fellows — graduate and undergraduate students who serve as science resources in designated high schools — to provide students with experience with sensors and other instruments of measurement. Teachers also expand their knowledge of high-tech instrumentation and become part of a wider scientific community. Funded by: the National Science Foundation GK-12 Programs
The School of Engineering engineering faculty and RAISE Fellows provide a day-long weekend conference that expands the reach of RAISE to teachers from other schools. They learn scientific measurement through the use of instrumentation, which enables them to promote student research activities by utilizing their new-found knowledge in their own classes. Funded by: NASA Space Grant
Each summer, 10 teachers are selected to participate in Project SMART (Science and Mechatronics Aided Research for Teachers). These teachers work in teams to conduct original experiments and research, culminating in a final product at the end of the six-week period. Funded by: the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs
Applying Mechatronics to Promote Science fosters a collaborative relationship between Polytechnic Institute and several New York City middle schools. Fellows learn how to integrate their mechatronics and robotics-focused education and research into middle school curricula. Inner-city students benefit by engaging in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through exciting competitions, and teachers receive technology literacy education and professional development. Funded by: the National Science Foundation GK-12 Programs
The School of Engineering students who are members of the PolyBOTS, a student club, prepare teachers for the FIRST Lego League and FIRST Robotics Competitions in workshops held annually on four Saturdays during the winter months preceding the competitions. Teachers often arrange for their own students to attend these programs, which feature hands-on instruction and practice games.
Courses are offered to teachers from private and parochial schools in such subject disciplines as technical writing and computer science. Teachers who complete these online courses successfully earn graduate credts which qualify them for salary differentials and promotions. Funded under contract with: New York City Department of Education