OSSM hosted its annual state-wide institutes for Middle Division math and science teachers last week. During the five-day workshops, OSSM faculty taught new methods of teaching higher level math and science concepts to the more than 85 middle school teachers from 81 schools across Oklahoma in attendance.

“Part of OSSM’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for advancing STEM education in Oklahoma through teacher training and development,” said Frank Wang, Ph.D., president of OSSM. “These Institutes provide opportunities for hands-on instruction in a fun, educational environment. We appreciate being able to host teachers from around the state on our campus.”

In partnership with ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66 and The Sarkeys Foundation, OSSM’s Summer Institutes also incorporate a variety of fun and inexpensive hands-on labs to provide new ideas to the teachers, which represented between 3,500 to 4,000 students in their combined classrooms. Topics are selected according to middle school science curriculum in the fields of biology, chemistry and earth science.

This year’s featured speakers included Alex Kajitani, The Rappin’ Mathematician, as well as Marty Sugerik, an instructional coach specializing in secondary mathematics, standards-based project-based learning, technology and literacy. The closing lunch featured science teacher Donna Gradel, Oklahoma’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.

Additional activities included lectures, experiments in OSSM laboratories, demonstrations, discussions, and field trips to the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla., and the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum STEM lab. During the institute, participants stay in the Dan Little Residence Hall on the OSSM campus and receive a $300 stipend for satisfying requirements for continuing education.