Center for Science Education
The science student is only as good as the science teacher. We are committed to creating better science educators through training, program development and specialized training.
When in 1957 the former Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to be put into the Earth’s orbit, it became clear that the quality of science education in the United States needed to be improved. To aid this endeavor in South Carolina, the state’s Commission on Higher Education some years later established the Center for Science Education at the University of South Carolina-Columbia. The Center, which is administratively housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, has two specific charges:
- To develop and implement specific programs to help improve graduate and undergraduate programs for teachers (and prospective teachers) of science and mathematics
- To assist individual teachers, schools, school districts, and consortia of districts in developing materials to provide effective K-12 science teaching, in-service workshops, and curriculum development.
But that’s not all we do. We matriculate certified teachers through the University’s Interdisciplinary Master of Arts (IMA) program. We provide specialized courses for science teachers, such as an online course that gives a thorough introduction to teaching statistics for elementary, middle, and high school teachers. We also provide professional development programs, such as our summer institutes, for science teachers. In addition, we conduct research on the effectiveness of inquiry-based teaching methods and do outreach activities that promote students’ interest in science and math.