Anne's welcome:


During the Institute, we'll be exploring together a variety of the ways scientists make sense of change, and working together to facilitate such explorations in K-12 classrooms. College faculty in physics, chemistry, psychology, biology, literature, geology and computer science will present hands-on activities and work with us on adapting these modules to the needs and interests of your students.



Wil's translation:

Connecting our goals and making them more concrete--


Over the course of this institute, we will focus our attention on four pedagogical domains:



In a sea of change, how does one find any ground upon which to base action? By looking for empirical constants in explicitly defined systems, science builds plausible stories. Built into the scientific process is profound skepticism that acknowledges a dynamic world.  This skepticism takes the form of falsifiable experimentation and repeatable testing, which safeguard the process from unfounded proclamations, allow for continual testing in the face of change, and rely on communal agreement to substantiate knowledge. Science is not principally a canon of knowledge and facts, but rather a process by which practitioners communally come to an understanding about the material world in which we all live. This understanding takes the form of a story which summarizes and accounts for a set of observations.  With each new observation the stories either work or need to be revised. Consequently, science does not claim absolutes, rather only the most useful and inclusive summaries of observations at any given time.  It is a flexible, adaptable tool for making sense of the world in which we live.

I hope that this institute will offer opportunities to explore these ideas and to reflect on the merit and usefulness of science within the realities of your learning environments.

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