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Release date: April 22

WBU science department recruiting for special summer program

Wayland Baptist University is recruiting teachers from across the state to participate in a special free graduate program for science teachers.

Sponsored by the university and partially funded by grants from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the two programs are aimed at giving elementary and secondary science teachers a chance to expand their knowledge and bring that back to their respective classrooms. They also earn graduate credit in the process.

Called ASSIST and ASSET - Academic Summer Science Institute for Secondary Teachers, and Academic Summer Science for Elementary Teachers - the programs are in their 18th year at Wayland. This summer, the initial course for both programs will be held from June 3-21 on the Plainview campus, with another course running one Saturday each month during the Fall 2002 and Spring 2003 semesters.

According to Dr. J. Hoyt Bowers, chairman of the Division of Mathematics and Sciences, the programs have involved more than 200 different teachers representing 28 different school districts and four private schools in the past 17 years. They've also brought some notoriety to the school.

"We are the only university in the state to have a grant funded every year since they started this in 1986," Bowers said. "These are competitive grants that we have to reapply for each year."

The grants are key to the program because they cover the tuition, fees, books, supplies and facility use involved at Wayland, allowing teachers to take the courses for free. Bowers said the program also allows for limited reimbursement for lunches and child care during class days and for attendance to the annual state meeting for science teachers. Teachers also receive a $300 stipend for completing the two courses.

This year's ASSET program covers the topic "Physics with Toys." The first half will be covered during the three-week summer term, with the remainder covered in the fall and spring terms. ASSIST participants will be studying "Exploring Acid, Base and Redox Reactions."

Courses are taught by Wayland faculty and are designed with input from a needs survey completed during the year.

Classes are limited to the first 15 teachers who apply in each program. Teachers from across Texas are eligible, as are students currently completing their undergraduate degree who plan to teach in the fall. Teacher's aides may apply, but spots will be filled first from classroom teacher applicants.

To apply, teachers should provide a letter of recommendation from a principal, science supervisor or superintendent and their college transcripts (if not from Wayland). For an application, contact the science department at (806) 291-1115.