PASADENA-The Caltech Precollege Science Initiative has received a $150,000 award from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to work with the Pasadena Unified School District on science curriculum for grades 9-12.
The program is an extension of the 10-year collaboration between CAPSI and PUSD, which has resulted in a K-8 inquiry-based science curriculum in all Pasadena schools. Currently the high school component is one year into its four-year development phase. When completed, the curriculum will contain eight multidisciplinary units, each taught in a science laboratory classroom equipped with computers.
The grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations is specifically aimed toward the professional development of the project, thereby teaching the teachers the necessary skills for using the inquiry-based science curriculum in their classrooms. A team consisting of two Caltech scientists or engineers and two teachers from the PUSD is designing each module. Once the units are in place at the schools, each high school teacher will spend an average of 100 hours working with the modules he or she will teach. In the future, these modules will be disseminated to high schools nationally.
The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations are named for the former president of the Aluminum Company of America. The Foundations make grants in five program areas: higher education, secondary education, religion (graduate theological education), health care (caring attitudes), and public television. Grants are made to secondary education programs that strengthen teachers and teaching in high schools.
Founded in 1891, Caltech has an enrollment of some 2,000 students, and an academic staff of about 280 professorial faculty and 130 research faculty. The Institute has more than 19,000 alumni. Caltech employs a staff of more than 1,700 on campus and 5,300 at JPL.
Over the years, 27 Nobel Prizes and four Crafoord Prizes have been awarded to faculty members and alumni. Forty-four Caltech faculty members and alumni have received the National Medal of Science; and eight alumni (two of whom are also trustees), two additional trustees, and one faculty member have won the National Medal of Technology. Since 1958, 13 faculty members have received the annual California Scientist of the Year award. On the Caltech faculty there are 75 fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and on the faculty and Board of Trustees, 69 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 49 members of the National Academy of Engineering.