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East metro school briefs: Teachers partner on science curriculum

  • October 6, 2012 - 12:04 AM

Two Washington County school districts and the St. Paul public schools are partnering with the University of Minnesota to develop science curriculum based around lessons in engineering.

The project, overseen by the university's STEM Education Center, is being funded by an $8 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant was announced in late September.

The project is expected draw upon the work of about 200 Twin Cities area teachers, including instructors from the St. Paul schools and the South Washington County and North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale districts.

Participants will attend summer professional development and curriculum writing workshops and eventually see their resulting curricular units submitted to TeachEngineering.org, an online peer-reviewed digital library.

"The project has the potential to change the way partner schools implement STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] education, as well as be a model for other schools globally," Tamara Moore, co-director of the STEM Education Center, said in a news release.

The lessons are to be geared to students in the fourth through eighth grades.

STILLWATER

All-school marathon set for St. Croix Prep

Students and staff members at St. Croix Preparatory Academy will run for the benefit of academics during an all-school marathon beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The event, including a pep fest, will involve the charter school's entire student body of 1,000-plus students, and takes place on fields and paths at the school at 4260 Stagecoach Trail N.

Students are collecting donations and will run grade-appropriate distances for a total of 26.2 miles. The school hopes to raise $80,000. The money will be used for academic programming, said Jon Gutierrez, the school's executive director.

WOODBURY

New Life students assist new business

Seven students at New Life Academy, 6758 Bailey Road, helped a Woodbury family open a new thrift store in Little Canada this summer.

The store, Planet Thrift, is run by Phil and Teresa Tateosian, whose daughters, Lauren and Rachel, were among the New Life students to assist in the project.

According to its website, the store sells donated clothing and other items in the hope of keeping the materials out of landfills.

Planet Thrift held its grand opening at 3225 Country Drive on Aug. 25.

East Ridge teacher nabs higher-ed honor

Amanda Gavin, a chemistry teacher at East Ridge High School, is participating in a yearlong teaching fellowship program at the University of St. Thomas.

She was one of 10 middle- and high-school educators selected from among 89 Twin Cities area applicants.

ANTHONY LONETREE

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