KENNEDY, Natalia K.*; WORDEN, Kelly J.; RUSSELL, Arlene A.; FREKING, Fred F.; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Los Angeles: The GK-12 Program at the University of California, Los Angeles: Making Science Exciting for Students in Urban Schools
In the UCLA GK-12 program (funded by the National Science Foundation), the Divisions of Physical and Life Sciences come together with the School of Education to address the issues of mathematics and science instruction in the lowest performing local schools. In this three year program, graduate students in the Physical and Life Sciences, known as GK-12 Fellows, are paired with first year secondary science and mathematics teachers in urban middle and high schools. The challenges of classroom management in urban schools, the time required to prepare new daily lesson plans, and the limited resources and facilities available in urban schools prevent new teachers from developing and conducting inquiry-based activities. Our program addresses this void. The GK-12 Fellows work side-by-side with the teachers and assist them in designing and implementing inquiry-based lessons that meet the needs of all students--especially low income, racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse learners. In addition to describing the program, two Fellows will share their personal experiences in the GK-12 program.