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While students enjoy the half-term break this month a group of approximately 50 teachers–many from the public school system–will be participating in the annual BIOS Professional Development Workshops.  The workshops emphasize making real-world connections between current scientific research topics and what’s being taught in science classrooms.

Unlike traditional professional development courses, the BIOS workshops try to model an effective pedagogy by teaching through experience, allowing the teachers to take a hands-on approach to learning. Over the course of the week, teachers receive training, ideas, and resources that give both meaning and interest to the curriculum, helping to bring the subject matter alive for their students.

JP Skinner, BIOS Education Officer, notes that “It is important for teachers to have opportunities to be students themselves, to re-charge their batteries with new information and to have the chance to sit and listen to other educators or research specialists sharing their expertise.”

Capitalizing on the considerable public interest and excitement surrounding Bermuda’s various Sargasso Sea science and conservation initiatives, the topic of this year’s workshops is “Expedition Sargasso.”  A suite of lesson plans, film clips, and resources will showcase the scientific research being conducted in the Sargasso Sea and highlight how teachers can use the subject area to successfully engage students in math, geography, and science.

Workshop participants can expect to learn about a variety of topics, including fisheries management, invasive species, ocean acidification, the physics of ocean gyres, and the variety of unique marine animals that live in the “sea without shores.”  Additionally, through a connection with the Bermuda Union of Teachers (BUT), participating teachers receive continuing education credits.

For more information on the 2012 BIOS Professional Development Workshops, please contact JP Skinner at 297-1880 x241 or via email at JP.Skinner@bios.edu.