Helping teachers teach

Helping teachers teach Tiffany Knight, Ph.D. (right), assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, identifies an invasive plant to a group of high-school teachers attending the Life Sciences for Global Community degree program at WUSTL this summer. The teachers — (from left) Vandana Gudi, Miami (Fla.) Dade Schools; Sally Viers, Saint Louis Public Schools; and Erin Tantillo and Caroline Milne, both from Barrington (Ill.) High School — were working this July day on invasive plants at Tyson Research Center. The program, led by Barbara Schaal, Ph.D., the Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor in Biology, is supported by a $3.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Each summer, Schaal and colleagues collaborate to teach courses designed specifically for high-school educators. Teachers from across the country stay on campus for two summer institutes and then complete online coursework during the academic year at no cost. In May, the first class of 23 graduated from the program with master of science in biology degrees. “Working with high-school teachers allows me to bring modern ecological research to the next generation of students,” Knight said.