The College of Professional Studies has won a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to provide professional development for science instructors who teach middle grade students – anywhere from fifth to ninth grade – in D.C.
Ali Eskandarian, senior associate dean of the college, is the principal investigator for the grant, D.C. ACTS – which stands for “advancing competencies in technology and science” – a project that GW leads in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and D.C. public, private and charters schools.
The grant comes from the Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership program and is distributed through the D.C. Office of State Superintendent of Education.
It will be used to support a leadership program, which will engage the community of D.C. science teachers at public, charter public and private schools.
“It will provide the schools with much-needed content knowledge by expert scientists,” said Dr. Eskandarian. His co-principal investigator is Russell Wright, a science educator at the College of Professional Studies, education consultant and founder of Event-Based Science.
The grant will also provide the teachers with specially designed graduate-level courses at the College of Professional Studies, which will focus in depth on the science and math topics the teachers will present to their students.
According to Dr. Eskandarian, the grant will not only make a high-quality GW education accessible to D.C. teachers, but it will also help him and his colleagues create “a national model that emphasizes sustained and substantive engagement of K-12 teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
After the grant began last December, D.C. principals recruited 22 teachers for the program.