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UCR Science Program Gets Literary

UCR Science Program Gets Literary

Teachers will spend part of their summer at the Science Summer Institute.

(July 1, 2008)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – UCR’s Copernicus Project is pulling double-duty this year as it combines science experiments with an emphasis on literacy at the Science Summer Institute. An estimated 160 K-12 teachers will be participating in this year’s program July 7 through 18 at the UCR Extension Center on University Ave.

Although the focus has shifted to include an emphasis on literacy, especially for English language learners, fun science activities include star-gazing and the chemistry of Silly Putty, among other possible lessons in life sciences, physics, earth science, chemistry, and astronomy.

“What has changed in the program this year is the focus on literacy in science,” said Ryan Shiba, community liaison for the Copernicus Project at UCR’s Graduate School of Education. “Teachers are faced with limited time they can spend on science in part due to the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, so we are showing them how to pair the two together to teach science and literacy at the same time.”

Other presentations include pairing music with science, how mathematics explains real-world products and a local high school student’s research.

Copernicus, now in its fourth year, helps identify and prepare science teachers, a rare resource in the public schools. The program was launched by a five-year, $11.5 million Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund initiatives and programs to identify and recruit future science teachers.

Participating K-12 school teachers are chosen from the project’s eight partner school districts of Alvord, Corona-Norco, Jurupa, Moreno Valley, Palm Springs, Rialto, Riverside and Val Verde

An additional critical source of support is ongoing mentoring provided to each of the teachers throughout the year in science content, English language learning, and technology. This support is provided by teachers-on-assignment from the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) and the Copernicus Project to facilitate the implementation of effective science lessons. In addition, RCOE provides training sessions for K-12 administrators to inform them about the Copernicus Project and ways to better support science instruction in their schools.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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