The Colorado School of Mines recently offered the inaugural summer training experience of the Water-Energy Education for the Next Generation (WE²NG) to nine Colorado public school teachers, giving them the understanding and educational tools to better teach STEM topics.
“This first cohort of teachers has set the bar high,” Mines assistant professor Andrea Blaine, who helped lead the program, said. “I believe that a systemic, sustained method of bringing real and exciting science problems into the classroom could revolutionize the way the next generation of scientists addresses critical issues.”
The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and is a component of the
ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE²ST. Blaine is leading the initiative
with civil and environmental engineering professor Terri Hogue.
The public school teachers taking part learned
was to infuse standards-based, active-learning lessons with current research
and understanding from the water-energy sector, and the six-week program
included opportunities for the teachers to meet with and forge connections with
“I learned a lot about hydrology, geology
and geochemistry, which has made me rethink the way I want to teach our energy
transformation unit,” STEM teacher Patricia Brandenburger, who works with
eighth-graders in Littleton, Colorado, said.