Math Science Partnership

Math Science Partnership (MSP) Program

The SBC LTER Math-Science Partnership Program is a new NSF-funded project that connects the research and education prowess in the environmental sciences of universities and the LTER Network with the professional development of science teachers of partner middle schools and high schools. The project involves four LTER research sites (SBC, SGS, KBS, BES) and 22 K-12 schools/districts that extend across the nation, and directly impacts over 250 science teachers and up to 70,000 students of highly diverse backgrounds. The program focuses on coupled human-ecosystem interactions in the context of socio-ecological systems as a framework to develop a culturally relevant ecology from both a scientific and educational perspective.

touch tank
Local middle school students learn about ecology on the beach.

Inaugural workshops and field trips on targeted partnerships in math and science were initiated at SBC LTER in Summer 2009. These targeted partnerships focus on the critical education junction of middle school through high school to develop a program of teacher professional development in science and mathematics driven by framework of environmental science literacy surrounding the learning progressions of core science concepts. Middle school teachers were introduced to SBC LTER research through a day-long field trip of the biomes, study sites and research laboratories in the first workshop at UCSB. Initial discussions of program goals and evaluation strategies were combined with demonstrations and critiques of existing lesson plans previously developed through SLTER efforts, and opportunities for incorporating SBC LTER datasets into lesson plans and activities in the classroom. The second workshop took place at a local middle school where SBC LTER researchers and students learned about the logistics of developing a middle school science curriculum, the circumstances under which students and teachers work, and the ways in which SBC LTER can partner to improve middle school science education. The workshops were followed by a large scale field trip to SBC coastal and watershed research sites for middle school students in September 2009.