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Program Description

June 13 - July 29, 2011

ACTS Staff

Adah Leshem-Ackerman
Jessica Gogerty
Lynne Bleaker
Dr. Adah Leshem-Ackerman
ACTS Director
Ms. Jessica Gogerty,
Master Teacher
Ms. Lynne Bleaker
Science Education Specialist

Ames Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy research facility, is offering middle school (5th-8th grades) physical science teachers an exciting four-week professional development opportunity to experience science in the making. The overriding theme of the DOE ACTS program at Ames Laboratory will be the physical environment and how knowledge of physical and earth sciences can influence its positive evolution. Teachers will be trained to effectively impart to the next generation of students the wonders and complexities of scientific discovery, while preparing them for the challenges involved in decision-making as members of a technological society. We anticipate the teachers who successfully complete this program will convey to their students the vulnerability of the environment to human influence. This program will give teachers the insight and knowledge to understand the complex relationship between humans and their physical environment. Throughout the summer program National Science Education Standards will be addressed for each topic according to grade level.

Teachers will be introduced to cutting-edge research pertinent to this topic, attend training lectures and workshops presented by Ames Laboratory scientists and staff and visit research laboratories and field stations for observations. Teachers will also conduct their own small research projects to investigate topics in environmental physics, chemistry and earth science. Teachers will be trained to turn their classrooms into environments where their students will become engaged in investigation, observation and interpretation of scientific concepts. Teachers will also be trained to impart applications of these concepts in the real world and introduce their students to the array of professions that utilize this knowledge. Upon completion of each summer program participants may apply to DOE ACTS for mini-grants to help implement new strategies in their classrooms. During the school year, every effort will be made to maintain Web-based communication between participants and Ames Laboratory scientists and staff who will continue to support the educational effort of the participants once they have returned to their classrooms.

Teachers will be encouraged to participate each summer over the course of the three consecutive years.  The program will be held at the Ames Laboratory located on the Iowa State University campus, Ames, Iowa.  Participants who live within a 45 mile radius of Ames, will be reimbursed for gas mileage. Participants who live farther away, will receive travel funds and will reside in furnished apartments on the Iowa State University campus, in close proximity to the Ames Laboratory.

For more information, contact Adah Leshem-Ackerman at 515-294-8453 or

Visit the DOE ACTS Web site to begin the registration process.