Orientation 2009

Residents, Lead Teachers (LT), and Faculty Mentors (FM) gathered the last week of June to discover their roles in the project and learn about what the exciting year ahead holds for them. During the 4-day orientation, Residents and Lead Teachers participated in several activities to learnabout each other's school culture, learning and teaching styles, and the Residents research concentrations. To help make the connections for higher education, guest speaker Professor Emeritus Bill Briggs provided collaborative activities and fostered shared discussions about science and math in the education world.

Additionally, Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, spoke about the current state of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) in the state of Colorado. During his presentation, participants were able to see the importance of their work during this project and the impact they will be having on not only individual lives but on the lives of Coloradans.

Professional Learning Communities were fostered with the help of Chris Bryan, UCD IPTE Site Professor. Once the group norms and goals were identified, each Learning Community (comprised of 2 Residents, 2 LTs, 2 FMs from the science and math disciplines) created a metaphorm depicting their team vision for the year (see above and right pictures). Metaphorms are creative displays using various abstract craft materials. The time allows for bonding and learning about each other. The metaphorms are revisited at the end of the year to see how their vision has been implemented in the schools and what they would cange about it. Overall, orientation was a time to learn about the project, meet all the participants, and utilize the time to plan for the upcoming academic year.