1 June 2006
IMPACTSEED Set June 5 - 16
By Eddie Burkhalter
JSU News Bureau
With the common goal of creating more dynamic and hands-on classroom lectures, high school teachers of
chemistry and physics will meet at Jacksonville State University this summer to train
while their students enjoy the summer sun. Dr. Nouredine Zettili, a physics
professor at JSU who runs the program, took some time out to answer the
following questions to provide an overview.
Q: What takes place during
your Summer Institute?
A: The Summer Institute, which will run this year
between June 05-16, 2006, is an intensive, two-week long professional
development program is offered to about 25 in-service and pre-service
teachers. The training consists of a series of lectures and
hands-on-activities dealing with the basic concepts of chemistry and
physics, class demonstrations, and a number of essential experiments as
outlined in the Physics and Chemistry Core sections of the Alabama Course of
Study. We offer daily lectures followed by labs. Every day the teachers
receive seven hours of course contents and lab work in chemistry and
Q: Who can attend?
A: Any teacher from Alabama who teaches
chemistry and/or physics. We have been having some out-of-state teachers,
from Georgia, attending IMPACTSEED as well.
Q: What's the goal of this project?
A: The primary goal of IMPACTSEED (IMproving Physics And
Chemistry Teaching in SEcondary EDucation) is to bring the preparation of
secondary education chemistry and physics teachers in alignment with state
and national standards so that every student receives high quality
instruction from knowledgeable, well-trained, and well-supported teachers.
The project is intended to help teachers achieve a double aim:
(a) to make physics and chemistry understandable and fun to learn within a hands-on,
(b) to overcome the fear-factor for physics and chemistry among students.
IMPACTSEED offers hands-on, inquiry-based
instruction with a strong correlation to the Alabama Course of Study and
national standards with primary emphasis on having students discover rather
than memorize and with teachers questioning rather than telling.
Which institution funds IMPACTSEED?
A: IMPACTSEED is funded by the Alabama
Commission on Higher Education (ACHE);
it is part of the No-Child Left
Behind Act which was initiated by President George Bush Jr.
the major components of this project?
A: IMPACTSEED has five major components:
(1) an intensive two-week summer professional development
(2) five technology workshops during the academic year;
(3) sustained, year-round on-site support to the teachers;
(4) year-round physics and chemistry hotlines to offer immediate support
to the teachers when needed;
(5) a website to disseminate the results of the project and to list useful resources.
Q: How can teachers benefit from attending?
A: In addition
to acquiring contents knowledge that will help them in their classrooms, the
teachers will receive from us year-round support in a number of ways:
(a) we offer them professional development five times during the year;
(b) we visit their classrooms and give workshops and classroom demonstrations to the
(c) we take chemistry/physics equipment to their classrooms to help them cover topics within
a hands-on approach;
(d) every teacher that participates is offered this year a number of teaching kits/modules to
take to their classrooms. This year, for instance, we are offering to every teacher about
$2,500.00 worth of teaching kits/modules plus books and other resources.
So, IMPACTASEED is having a direct impact on chemistry/physics classrooms through knowledge and hands-on gadgets
Q: Could you comment on the five technology workshops?
A: This consists of a series of five different workshops; they are offered on Saturdays
during the academic year. These workshops are an effective mechanism for bringing technology
into the classroom. The five workshops deal with projects designed to help the teachers
build and test a number of devices that can be reproduced by their secondary education
students. Every teacher is provided with a lab kit containing basic components necessary
for building these devices. This is a suitable way of making chemistry and physics attractive
to secondary education students. The technology workshops are powerful tools to reinforce
an inquiry-oriented approach to chemistry and physics
Q: How long has IMPACTSEED been given?
A: For four consecutive years now.
Q: How long will IMPACTSEED will be offered?
A: We intend to offer IMPACTSEED for a number of years to come. As long as the need is
there among the teachers, we will continue seeking funding from ACHE. We cannot cover
the shortage of qualified high school chemistry and physics teachers in three or five
years. This is a long term project. Since we are having direct impact on the education
of chemistry and physics at the high school level in Alabama, we will continue offering
our support to the teachers and to their high schools as long as the need is there.
Q: What information would you like to see publicized?
A: For further information, please visit IMPACTSEED's website:
for news releases by using the request form at www.jsu.edu/newswire/request.