Curriculum/Instruction and Research
David Chun, Director
The EMITS (Engineering and Mathematics, Inspiring Thinking Solutions) Grant provides Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) professional development to middle and high school math, science and Career Technical Education (CTE) teachers through a grant funded by the California Department of Education (CDE). The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) receives $500,000 per year for three years to complete this work.
A team of 55 teachers from four districts in Sacramento County work with a team from SCOE's K-12 Curriculum and Instruction Department. The team includes the mathematics director, science coordinator, EMITS project director, and a team of professors from California State University at Sacramento.
Annual components of the grant include:
- 10-day summer institute,
- 5 two-hour engineering integration sessions,
- 4 days of site-based lesson study,
- 4 site academic coaching support visits, and
- 2 half-day administrative support sessions.
Recent education reforms encourage the real-world application of math and science education by integrating engineering and technological content. EMITS focuses on student inquiry, where curiosity turns theoretical concepts into practical reasoning; engagement turns disconnected memorization into the relevant and robust development of critical thinking. Math is the primary content focus, engineering being a secondary focus.
Professional Development is the primary function of the grant. There are five key goals:
- Teachers will improve content knowledge to understand conceptual development and reasoning in their content area.
- Teachers will learn pedagogical strategies and practices by providing opportunities to their students to make sense of the mathematics, solve problems, and explain their reasoning. This will prepare teachers to provided opportunities for their students to employ mathematical modeling. Teachers will utilize these skills to replace traditional lectures with a more student-centered approach.
- Teachers and engineers are encouraged to build a professional community as they co-construct, analyze and refine student performance tasks focused on engineering. This is the essence of mathematical modeling.
- Teachers will learn the lesson study process as they develop and implement lessons focused on skills and concepts needed to be successful with modeling tasks.
- Teachers will provide opportunities for their students to develop abilities to use mathematical models to solve real world problems and develop an appreciation for STEM related education and opportunities.
EMITS begins by empowering teachers to communicate and collaborate with one another by using the "Schoology" online collaboration system. Collaboration will begin as grade-level teacher teams corresponding with one another at each participating district. Online collaboration will allow the team members to share ideas, develop STEM lesson plans, and encourage/inspire one another. EMITS regional dissemination will be provided by the Capital Region Academies for the Next Economy (CRANE) Consortium.
EMITS involves 55 mathematics, science, and engineering teachers from Sacramento County school districts (grades six through high school).
Publications and Materials
- Sacramento County Office of Education Court & Community Schools, CARE, and Special Education
- San Juan Unified School District
- Gateway Community Charters
- River Delta Unified School District
- Galt Joint Union High School District
- California State University Sacramento—Mathematics and Engineering Departments
- California Math Project at Sacramento State
- Folsom Cordova Unified School District
The Capital Region Academies for the Next Economy (CRANE
) consortium is a six-county regional partnership, which includes 22 school districts and county offices of education that reach 40 high schools and 80,000 students. The Consortium also includes community colleges, businesses and business associations, hospital systems, labor organizations, city and county government agencies, and a wide range of public sector agencies. CRANE sends quarterly updates to regional partners. It also provides critical connections to opportunities for STEM-based careers and continued training that exists locally.
Engineering Local Industry Partners
- Professional Engineers in California Government
- Structural Engineers Association of Central California
- California Land Surveyors Association
- California Department of Transportation
- CSU Sacramento teaching engineers