Local educators continue to benefit from Impact Grant awarded to Lycoming College

Local educators continue to benefit from Impact Grant awarded to Lycoming College

President Trachte welcomes K-12 science teachers to campus.

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In a continuation of efforts to help enhance the academic opportunities of local Lycoming County youth, Lycoming College conducted a training session in late May for K-12 science educators from Lycoming County’s school districts, including elementary, middle and high school teachers. By learning to use planetarium-integrated software, local educators can enrich their curriculum with interactive learning opportunities in the sciences, both in their classrooms and through visits to Detwiler Planetarium on the Lycoming College campus.

The training represents the third step in an educational partnership that has been unfolding between Lycoming College and the local school districts for two years. College and district administrators worked jointly to identify educational opportunities for area youth that would utilize the planetarium in conjunction with computer-based astronomy and earth science curricula. In the fall, local educators attended a demonstration of software capabilities in the state-of-the-art, digital planetarium, the only one of its kind in north central Pennsylvania.

“Our campus has always been a home for dreamers – those who want to do the extraordinary. With that in mind, it is gratifying to be able to open up new worlds to so many young scholars at such an early stage of their studies,” said Kent C. Trachte, president of Lycoming College. “Lycoming College is invested in this community, and we welcome the opportunity to excite local students, and to demonstrate, first-hand, how college can change their lives.”

This partnership will allow the planetarium to benefit not only Lycoming College students, but the greater community as teachers work toward implementation of the software in their classrooms. The First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania recognized this potential for community impact when it made its $300,000 grant in support of the planetarium instrumentation.

Eighteen teachers participated in the training, held in the College’s new Lynn Science Center computer lab, where Trachte and Philip W. Sprunger, provost and dean of the College, offered words of welcome to those in attendance.

Lycoming County science teachers receive astronomy and earth science software training on the Lycoming College campus.

Lycoming County science teachers receive astronomy and earth science software training on the Lycoming College campus.

John Killian, supervisor, K-6 curriculum, Williamsport Area School District, attends software training in Lynn Science Center.

John Killian, supervisor, K-6 curriculum, Williamsport Area School District, attends software training in Lynn Science Center.

“This opportunity will bring a new level of engagement to our classrooms,” said John Killian, supervisor, K-6 curriculum, Williamsport Area School District. “Allowing students access to this software, and the new planetarium at Lycoming College, will help them to experience and learn about the universe in ways we could only imagine before. This software supplements our unit of planetary studies in grade six, offering a high level of engagement.”

Lycoming College will provide local science educators with curriculum-aligned astronomy and earth science software, in accordance with local districts' needs and interests. Implementation of the software in K-12 classrooms throughout the county will begin during the 2016-17 school year, with support from the College.

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