Leadership for Educators: Academy for Driving Economic Revitalization in Science (LEADERS) is a mathematics and science partnership that gathers and merges the expertise of four essential entities in the economic revitalization of the Great Lakes Region - K-12 school districts, higher education, the renewable energy industry, and informal science education sites. The core partners (the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Education at the University of Toledo and the Toledo Public Schools) and supporting partners (the University of Toledo College of Engineering, Akron area schools, the Toledo Diocese Schools, the Monroe County Intermediate School District, Monroe County Community College, the Toledo Science Center, TechniGraphics, Blue Water Satellite, Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization, and Great Lakes WIND Network) of the LEADERS partnership share a vision of student-centered education that knits community economic growth with science education. The goal of LEADERS is to improve science education by making it relevant to students through the incorporation of Project-Based Science (PBS) that is linked to the renewable energies industry and its environmental impacts, which is becoming a vital element in the economic development of the Great Lakes Region. Drawing from the four partner school districts, one cohort of six teachers per district are participating in the LEADERS program for 2½ years per cohort (total teacher leaders, 24). Teams of teacher leaders from each district include two each from the elementary, middle, and high school levels. To facilitate district implementation, one principal and one district administrator are also participating in the Institute along with their cohort of teacher leaders. During the summer, teacher leaders complete graduate courses in physics, chemistry, environmental science, and engineering. Content courses are team taught by a scientist and a science educator who model blending the content with PBS. When the teacher leaders return to their respective districts, they are responsible for overseeing the design and implementation of PBS activities that connect state and national science standards with relevant applications. LEADERS is striving toward the following outcomes: 1) Developing a cadre of effective teacher leaders who are capable of transforming science education by linking science content with emerging science-based industries in the Great Lakes Region. 2) Increasing the number of teachers in partnering districts who have strong content, pedagogy and leadership skills and knowledge. 3) Transforming existing K-12 science courses to rigorous and relevant science courses through PBS. 4) Preparing K-12 students who meet science and mathematics achievement standards while also becoming interested in science and technical careers. 5) Developing community science education networks that collaborate through the development and implementation of advanced or improved science courses.
LEADERS: Leadership for Educators: Academy for Driving Economic Revitalization in Science