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March 18, 2005

DAMSALS2 NSF Project Hosts Summer Institutes at ULM

Teachers interested should submit applications by April 8

The University of Louisiana at Monroe will host its second of three DAMSALS2 (Delta Agriculture Middle School Applied Life Science) Summer Institutes this summer. The institutes are scheduled for June 6-24, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. each day, excluding weekends. This year, the DAMSALS2 NSF (National Science Federation) project is geared for science and social studies teachers in grades 8-10.

Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, DAMSALS2 is a three-year ITEST (Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers) project that helps teachers use information technology to support science instruction at the 7th - 12th grade level. It serves the rural school systems of the Mississippi River Delta in northeast Louisiana.

"The project's objectives are to enhance the information technology skills of science teachers and students, increase awareness of the use of information technology in agriculture related sciences, and increase the science content knowledge of teachers and students," said Patty Watts, designer and director of the DAMSALS2 ITEST Project.

Participants will learn geospatial field techniques using devices. They will use graphing calculators to collect data, and computers to access and analyze on-line data and present findings. On-site visits, compressed video meetings, and Blackboard discussions will support implementation during the academic year.

Teachers who participate in DAMSALS2 will learn how to employ technology to enhance instruction, use agriculture to teach science concepts and skills and provide students with great opportunities to learn. Participating teachers may be eligible for six hours of graduate level science credit. Also, each participant will receive $2,000 worth of science-teaching materials and equipment. Stipends will be paid for participation and additional support will be provided for travel.

The new program is set to run for three years. Each year there will be a summer institute for teachers, summer camps for students, and academic year follow-up activities. The participants will be students from the twelve rural school systems in northeast Louisiana. The first year will be for grades 7 and 8, the second year will be for grades 8 and 9, and the third year will be for grades 9 through 12.

For more information and to apply online visit Brochures are available at ULM's Hannah room 112.

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