Jobs abound in careers involving math and science, and a new program will help local school teachers give their students a start in these subjects.
Colorado Mountain College has received a $150,000 grant from Chevron to develop and provide a summer science experience for elementary and middle school teachers from the Garfield Re-2, District 16 and DeBeque school districts.
The state of Colorado tests children in science in grades 5 and 8. In 2010, 53 percent of Colorado's children scored below "proficient" in grade 5, and 51 percent were below "proficient" in grade 8.
"Research tells us that knowledgeable, confident and passionate teachers are essential for students to explore their own curiosity about science," said Michael DeBerry, manager of Chevron's Rocky Mountain Area. "We are delighted to partner with Colorado Mountain College and the local school districts to help educators teach science in fun and relevant ways. Working together, we can help our schools excel."
CMC's campus in Rifle plans to offer one week of summer training to 24 teachers, with three additional days of training and follow-up during the academic year. During the training, teachers will build their science content knowledge, as well as learn effective ways to make science fun and engage their students through field work and field trips.
Throughout the training, teachers will be able to pilot potential science activities and determine which activities will be most appropriate for their students.
"We don't want science curriculum to fall short as state budgets get tighter," said Dr. Susan Birdsey, superintendent of the Garfield Re-2 district. "Partnering with Chevron and CMC helps us stretch resources while bringing another dimension to our science education initiatives."
Chevron has also provided grants to the CMC campus in Rifle for Chevron Community Cinema and other cultural offerings, supports the student fees fund and underwrites scholarships for nontraditional students.