Improving Science Teaching in the Pacific

Image_015Now in its fourth year, the Pacific Education and Research for Leadership in Science (PEARLS) project, a five-year partnership with the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), has provided training for science teachers from Hawai‘i, American Sāmoa, Saipan, Yap, and Pohnpei, while adding new teachers from American Sāmoa, Guam, Rota, and Tinian. The project’s goals include helping middle-school students in Hawai‘i and other Pacific Islands learn more about scientific inquiry through the study of the local environment and about the kinds of careers available in science and technology. Teachers in the program attend a series of professional development workshops based on CRDG’s Foundational Approaches in Science Teaching (FAST) middle school science curriculum and other projects where the focus is on using the inquiry method and the local environment to teach science through inquiry. In 2012, the program has expanded to Palau, collaborating with Palau Community College and the Ministry of Education.