Educating the scientists of tomorrow
This summer the School of Education went to the edge of space to fulfill its goal of preparing educators who “think critically, transform practice, and promote justice.”
Kevin Carr (pictured), associate professor of education, serves as principal investigator of North Coast Teachers Touching the Sky. This K-12 professional development program, created in partnership with the University of Oregon and the Tillamook School District, attempts to boost students’ achievement by improving the science teaching skills of instructors.
The program sends K-12 teachers to a week-long summer institute at Pine Mountain Observatory, a research facility near Bend, Ore. There, they receive telescopes for their classrooms, study the sky, and interact with astronomers using research-grade equipment. Teachers continue through the school year with regular workshops and classroom mentoring.
As a result, children at 13 north coastal schools are learning about the solar system, properties of light, globular clusters, and the galaxy. Twenty-five teachers participated in the project’s first two years and 29 are participating in 2007—08. A U.S. Department of Education grant of about $540,000 will fund the program for three years.
Carr says the program was designed for school districts in remote areas often underserved by university resources. “We need more than just higher achievement — we must get more and different kinds of kids involved in science, kids who don’t ordinarily consider science careers,” Carr says.
As a capstone of the program, classes design, launch, and recover a high-altitude balloon that gathers atmospheric data at the edge of space (100,000 feet). “Experiments like that put teachers and students in the position of being scientists themselves,” Carr says.
Good as gold
The university’s President’s Report gained gold-medal honors in the 2007 National Circle of Excellence Awards competition hosted by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
The piece, created by the university’s Office of Marketing and Communications and Peterson and Co. of Dallas, Texas, was one of only five entries — out of a pool of 228 — to earn gold in the individual fundraising publications category.
The national award came after George Fox claimed four awards in the CASE District VIII competition in February. The district comprises 81 institutional members in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and seven Canadian provinces.
Bauman benefactor dies
Mary Louise Bauman-Mirhady, a friend of George Fox University, died at the age of 77 in Newport Beach, Calif., on July 16, after several years of declining health.
Mary and her husband were generous supporters of the university, which honored them in the name of the university’s William and Mary Bauman Auditorium. He served as a board member for 20 years, many of those as the chair of the development committee. After selling their three lumber mills to Willamette Industries in 1974, the Baumans made a large donation toward the construction of a new auditorium on the Newberg campus. Completed in 1982, Bauman Auditorium seats 1,200.