WSU Tri-Cities Professor Develops Summer Salmon Workshop For Teachers

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — For two weeks this summer, some 20 teachers — grades K-8 — will participate in a workshop on investigating science issues at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

“Investigating The Salmon Issue” runs in mid July and will give teachers, “an opportunity to learn about and take a real-world science issue back to their classroom,” says Valarie Akerson, assistant professor of science education in the WSU Tri-Cities Department of Teaching and Learning.

“We’ll be discussing salmon in terms of recovery and the teachers will get to use global positioning and global information technologies to explore the Columbia River of the past and compare it with the river today,” Akerson says. “There’ll be a number of field trips, talks with experts on salmon and an opportunity to fully explore the issues associated with salmon recovery.”

The workshop will provide teachers a model for “authentic inquiry” science instruction, which Akerson says is a recommendation of the National Science Education Standards.

“Beginning with kindergartners, the national standard calls for teachers to involve an authentic problem in science instruction. The salmon issue is certainly ‘authentic’ and important to us in the Northwest,” she says.

The workshop begins July 9, and scholarship support is available to teachers registering. The sessions are funded under a grant provided by the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professional Development Program.

Further information is available by contacting Akerson at the WSU Tri-Cities campus, 509/372-7176.