Jul 252013

Former Fellows Kali Bird (center), Laren Kinsman-Costello (right), and K-12 partnership teacher Liz Ratashak (left) work together on a project in 2010.

Former GK-12 fellow Kali Bird continues to train teachers and bring exciting science to K-12 classrooms as an Education Program Specialist with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York.  During the 2010-2011 academic year, she partnered with Sandy Breightenbach of Plainwell High School, gaining experience and improving her ability to communicate science, while invigorating the classroom with inquiry-based lessons based on the latest scientific research. She says that “the experience of working with kids and teachers through the GK-12 program helped me to better understand the interests and needs of both; while the practice of presenting the process and insights of science to varied audiences improved my ability to communicate these effectively, meaningfully, and confidently.” Since January, she has been developing and updating data-driven curriculum focused on the Hudson River and its watershed.  Leaders of the Cary Institute’s education program include Dr. Alan Berkowitz, Head of Education, and Cornelia Harris, Education Program Leader, who are collaborators in the same Math Science Partnership in which many of our graduate students and partner teachers have participated.  Kali says she’s looking forward to this fall, when she will coordinate and teach a graduate-level course for local teachers about Hudson Valley invasive species, thanks to a recently awarded Maryland Sea Grant from the Mid-Atlantic Panel on Aquatic Invasive Species.