Part 4, "Ancillary Resources," provides information about resources that are available from hundreds of institutions—including museums, zoos, science centers, and professional and government organizations—to enrich the experiences of teaching and learning inquiry-centered middle school science. Such resources are "ancillary" in that they are available from sources other than the school or the classroom and they are used to support an existing science curriculum.
Although such resources vary widely, it is convenient for purposes of this guide to describe them in three general categories: (1) programs for students, such as exhibits and guided tours; (2) materials and publications, such as teacher's guides and kits of hands-on materials available for loan to science classes; and (3) education and support for teachers, such as workshops, in-service training, and databases of scientists and engineers committed to enhancing science education.
For the middle school teacher to incorporate such resources into the curriculum first requires the time to research them. Which organizations offer such support? What is available locally? Where would one call for further information about such programs and services? This part of the guide provides a quick reference source that answers these initial questions.
Teachers can become acquainted with the kinds of resources and programs available throughout the country as well as in their own local areas by leafing through this part of
the guide. They may want to focus on specific annotations—which highlight resources available at the individual facilities and organizations. The annotations provide addresses, telephone numbers, and World Wide Web addresses, where available, for obtaining more detailed information about particular resources.
Part 4 contains two chapters: chapter 10, "Museums and Other Places to Visit," and chapter 11, "Professional Associations and U.S. Government Organizations." Together these chapters refer readers to a total of almost 700 institutions. Most of them are in the United States; several are in Canada.
All of the facilities and organizations included in these chapters actively support hands-on, inquiry-centered middle school science education through their programs, services, or materials. Following are brief descriptions of the two chapters.
"Museums and Other Places to Visit"
Chapter 10 focuses on ancillary resources at museums and other local "places to visit," including zoos, science centers, aquariums, planetariums, and botanical gardens. The facilities are diverse in terms of size, areas of emphasis, and types of materials and support offered. Large and small institutions, some known only locally and others world-renowned, are included to help meet the needs of middle school science classes.
The information in the chapter is based on responses to a national survey conducted by the National Science Resources Center (NSRC). Facilities were selected for inclusion on the basis of the following criteria:
They offer resources that can help middle school teachers teach science more effectively.
They provide interactive science experiences that can complement students' classroom experiences.
They are sites that science classes can visit.
Chapter 10 opens with a section called the "Complete Regional Listing." This section identifies—by name, city, and state—about 550 facilities in the United States and several in Canada. The institutions whose names appear in boldface type—approximately 300—are featured in the second section of the chapter—the "Select Annotated Listing."
This annotated listing focuses on facilities that are making a particularly significant effort to help teachers teach science more effectively. The annotations provide a brief description of each facility, together with a listing of the specific types of support and resources they offer for middle school science.
As explained in more detail by the boxed information and map at the beginning of chapter 10 (see page 312), the regional and annotated lists are arranged by geographical regions. Within each region the states are listed alphabetically. The name of each institution appears alphabetically within its state listing.
"Professional Associations and U.S. Government Organizations"
Many groups of professional scientists and educators engage in active efforts to improve precollege science education and to offer assistance relevant to middle school science. Chapter 11 highlights about 130 such professional associations, societies, and U.S. government organizations. They represent a variety of scientific fields, including physics, biology, chemistry, geology, astronomy, entomology, and others. The annotations in the chapter list programs, services, publications, and materials that are available to schools and teachers from these sources. This information is based on the results of a formal survey conducted by the NSRC.
Each annotation in chapter 11 first provides a brief description of the organization and then lists its resources in two general categories. In the first category—"Programs/services"—are items such as conferences, seminars, and in-service workshops for teachers; information hotlines; and databases of experts available for teacher-scientist partnerships, classroom presentations, and student mentoring. Also mentioned (and highlighted in boldface type) are formal programs such as the National Science Foundation's Teacher Enhancement Program and Comprehensive Partnerships for Mathematics and Science Achievement Program. The second category of resources—"Publications/materials"—includes, for example, periodicals, curriculum units and guidelines, catalogs, and audiovisual and computer-based materials.
Some annotations include several sources, such as field centers, regional resource centers, and networks of affiliated organizations. For any organization that does not have a fixed address, the name and address of an appropriate person, such as the executive director, is provided.
Because some of the detailed information presented here will change with time, chapters 10 and 11 should be treated as starting points for gathering further details. Teachers will want to contact the organizations listed to arrange for class visits and to obtain specific information, such as dates and duration of classes, workshops,
and other programs; any costs involved; exact descriptions of items listed here in somewhat generic categories—"teacher's guide," "field trip," and so on. By following up on information in these chapters, individual teachers, schools, or school systems might significantly enhance the effectiveness of their science education efforts.
Finally, it should be noted that the absence of any facility or organization from chapters 10 and 11 is not intended as a reflection on the quality of its programs or on their possible value for middle school science teaching. Readers are encouraged to use what is offered here and to seek out additional sources suitable to meeting their needs for professional development and for assistance in the classroom.