Certified Professional Learning Providers

Fort Hays State University

The Science and Mathematics Education Institute (SMEI) delivers professional support to improve science education.

Organization Description

The Science and Mathematics Education Institute (SMEI) at Fort Hays State University brings together an extensive network of educators and pedagogy enthusiastics to provide professional services to science and math educators and school districts. SMEI hopes to strengthen the comprehension of the necessary skills in not only kindergarten through 12th grade and college students, but also the surrounding communities.

Focus of OpenSciEd Work

To support teachers and school districts transitioning to three dimensional learning approach utilized in OpenSciEd units, SMEI offers a range of services intended to strengthen the comprehension of these necessary skills for teachers and school systems to provide rigorous and relevant learning for all. Learning experiences for OpenSciEd implementation and other NGSS-aligned science instruction include:

  • Introducing anchoring phenomena to engage students as sense-makers, questioners, and investigators of science concepts
  • Providing tools for students to drive learning as they use the science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to explore and develop explanations for science core ideas
  • Providing opportunities for students to engage with authentic science sources through speaking, reading, and writing
  • Formatively assessing student understanding through iterative modeling and discourse
  • Promoting effective professional learning communities using collaborative processes
Supporting Equitable Science Instruction

The NRC Framework and NGSS vision is that all students will have access to high quality science learning opportunities and will be able to succeed in science. Educational equity has often been framed around race and ethnicity in urban settings. Yet, educators and legislators continue to focus on closing the opportunity gap for marginalized and disenfranchised students. Although rarely capturing the headlines, rural education is another area lacking educational equity. Fort Hays State University work focuses on all equity issues including those of underserved rural school districts

Supporting School Systems

FHSU works with local educational agencies, education service centers, other institutes of higher education, and the Kansas State Department of Education to implement NGSS approaches to science instruction. We support teachers as they learn to use the OpenSciEd middle school program, and plan to include the high school program as soon as it becomes available. We are building our capacity by developing more teacher leaders to lead ongoing teacher professional learning (e.g., workshops, study groups) for the OpenSciEd units.

Where We Work

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OpenSciEd Professional Learning

  • Curriculum Launch
  • Facilitator Training
  • Ongoing Support/Unit Launch
  • Unit Adaptation Support

OpenSciEd Grade Level Focus

  • Middle School

Other Professional Learning

  • Strategic District Implementation
  • Supporting Science Coaches