[A letter from Peter Pollock]
In 1991, the Mary Imogene Bassett Research Institute applied for and received a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health. This $750,000 grant partnered the ten Clark Scholarship schools, SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College, the New York Academy of Sciences, and Corning Medical Products Division. The goal of the SEPA grant was to improve, enhance, and promote the teaching of science for students, educators, and the surrounding rural communities in central New York.
May programs were implemented to achieve this goal. Teacher workshops were offered during the summer with topics geared towards all levels of primary education. A summer research training program was offered for rising Juniors and Seniors, both at the Research Institute and the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station. Science Exploration Camp was held for children in grades 2-7 at the SUNY Oneonta campus and currently at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown for five one-week sessions. During the school year, classroom visits at the elementary and high school levels brought a variety of hands-on activities, demonstrations and experiments directly to the schools involved. There were no charges for any of the programs listed above. A science teacher was hired to coordinate the SEPA grant programs with individual schools and teachers.
The grant was renewed for another three years in 1994, ending in the fall of 1997. The science enrichment classroom visits were an extremely successful and well-received program. In order to continue this particular program, a cooperative service agreement (CoSer) was developed with the Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES district. Each school now pays a fee each year to participate in the program.
As the former coordinator of the SEPA grant and the traveling science teacher, I would estimate that 90% of my visits are at the elementary K-6 level. I do some lab activities for AP biology classes and regents chemistry classes. Schools with Morning Programs will schedule me to present once a month. Afterwards I will stay the rest of the day doing activities in the classroom.
Thank you for your interest in the Science Enrichment Program.