Collaboration nets Buffalo schools $9.8M grant

October 12, 2011 Updated Oct 12, 2011 at 6:59 AM EDT

By WKBW News

October 12, 2011 Updated Oct 12, 2011 at 6:59 AM EDT

An initiative to reform science education at Buffalo Public Schools will be expanded with the receipt of $9.8 million from the National Science Foundation.

The five-year program - known as the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership, or ISEP - is a joint venture led by the University at Buffalo, Buffalo Public Schools, Buffalo State College and the Buffalo Museum of Science. It aims to change the way science is taught at Buffalo Public Schools by adding more interdisciplinary content to lessons and focusing on problem-solving experiments.

The grant, announced Tuesday at the Buffalo Museum of Science, will provide new professional development opportunities for science and math teachers at 12 city schools. A total of 48 teachers each year will participate in ISEP, working with fellow teachers, museum educators, UB and Buffalo State faculty members and UB students. During summers, teachers will conduct interdisciplinary research with local scientists. Teachers selected to participate may stay in the program for as long as three years as they receive 780 hours of professional development.

Joseph Gardella, a chemistry professor at UB, is leading the project. He and his colleagues began ISEP in 2005 at the Native American Magnet School in Buffalo. It now includes East High School and the Math, Science and Technology Preparatory School at Seneca.

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