Revitalizing Achievement by Using Instrumentation in Science Education (RAISE)

Inaugral NYC NSF GK-12 Grant Holders Meeting (May 20, 2005)

Our Inaugural NYC NSF GK-12 Grant Holders Meeting will be held at NYU Tandon School of Engineering on Friday, May 20, 2005. This full-day conference will begin at 09:00 am and conclude at 03:00 pm. Participants will include faculty representatives from the four GK-12 projects in New York City (i.e., two are located at Columbia University, one at CUNY Graduate School and University Center and one at NYU Tandon School of Engineering) which are funded by the National Science Foundation, Fellows participating in the four projects, teachers in participating schools and representatives from the New York City Department of Education.

Our purpose is to bring together participants from the GK-12 programs funded by NSF to discuss the major issues that challenge all programs and especially those in urban areas. In addition, we will provide an opportunity for representative examples of the work of the four projects to be displayed and explained. It is our intent to explore the major challenges and workable solutions which affect all aspects of GK-12 work. A 'poster session' will display how the GK-12 Fellows support learning in area classrooms. Ultimately, we hope to define common goals and directions, provide broad access to resources, and build an interactive community of teachers, Fellows and GK-12 programs in the New York City area. A culminating activity for the day will be an informal discussion of identified issues in order to identify top-ranked best practices, pitfalls to avoid, and workable techniques.

You may register to attend this meeting by transmitting an email before May 10th to Carmen Seda ( at NYU Tandon School of Engineering or to your institution’s representative: Prof. Elizabeth Sklar (, or Prof. Leonard Fine (, or Prof. Theodore Brown ( All participants must pre-register by this date. In addition to your name, please list the following:

  1. Your email address
  2. Your telephone number
  3. The institution with which you are affiliated, and
  4. Whether you are a faculty member, a Fellow, a teacher or a Department of Education representative.

We look forward to meeting you on May 20th.

Instructions for Breakout Discussion Sessions

There will be three breakout sessions: one for Fellows, one for the grant administrators and one for the teachers. DOE attendees are free to participate in whichever group they wish.

General guidelines and discussion rules:

  • Relate experiences to constructive points and advice that is useful to others in the group. Keep your comments short.
  • Ask relevant questions to the topics and discussion issues at hand – stay on track and avoid significant tangents.
  • Information that you found incredibly useful is most likely useful to others, share it.
  • Try to prioritize and categorize.
  • Shy away from instance-specific discussion; try to generalize your experiences and transform them into ideas that affect everyone involved.


First 2 minutes - Scribe volunteers or is assigned by moderator
2 to 4 minutes - Moderator introduces topic, relevant questions, and gets discussion started
Keep the discussions moving so all questions are discussed
2 to 12 minutes - Each topic or subgroup discussion

Discussion topics:

  • What issues have arisen that could have been avoided with better information and questions beforehand; better organization and coupling of participants?
  • What information is beneficial to me? How can my input prove relevant and constructive to others?
  • In hindsight, what would I like to see changed in the GK-12 program? In my aspect of it? In other aspects?
  • If you have 30 seconds to impart GK-12 wisdom to newcomers, what would you say? What pearl of wisdom do you wish you had been told upon starting your GK-12 experience?
  • What is special about the urban environment in which you are working?
  • (For Fellows only) What are you taking away from this experience that will be valuable in your future career?

For each discussion session, here is a rough agenda to keep conversation moving and get the most of the time blocks allocated. Moderators will be chosen and notified prior to the meeting to help facilitate the discussion at each table. Moderators will first choose a scribe, who will keep notes of the most important unanimous statements of the group. Bring laptops if you have them. The biggest challenge and suggested solution will be presented from each session to the entire group at the end of each 60-minute block. Note: Outline topics on whiteboard / poster board

12 to 15 minutes

  • Continued discussion of next questions / issues of topic
  • Moderator begins to shape discussion toward what should be reported
  • 3 major challenges, with 1 most significant challenge to report back. Focus on specific suggestions for workable solutions
  • Bell will sound, indicating that the moderator must move the group along to consider the next set of questions

16 to 30 minutes - Repeat for next topic of discussion

31 to 45 minutes

  • Repeat for next topic of discussion
  • At the end, collect scribe’s notes to submit