Welcome! The MU Quality Elementary Science Teaching (QuEST) program was funded from 2008-2013 by the Missouri Department of Higher Education's Improving Teacher Quality grants program. QuEST is a partnership among the MU College of Education, the Department of Physics & Astronomy, and the MU Partnership for Educational Renewal (MPER). A series of summer teachers institutes, a K6 program for students, and academic year follow-up sessions in schools were offered in partnership with Columbia Public School, St. Louis Public Schools, Hazelwood School District, Independence Schools District, Hallsville Schools, and Hannibal School District. .
In August 2014, we received funding from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on this innovative professional development model through the Discovery Research K12 program. This funding will allow us to examine the impact of this model on teachers' knowledge and practice, and to better understand how professional development programs can lead to improved student learning.
The QuEST professional development program's number one priority is to help you be the best science teacher you can be! Our program is designed to enhance teachers' understanding of content and instructional strategies so that they can use their existing curriculum materials and resources in more powerful ways to support the success of all students in science. Unlike other programs and workshops, we don't provide schools with a pre-created curriculum or unit of lessons to implement-- we equip teachers with the knowledge and skills (and free classroom equipment!) to adapt and modify instruction to enhance student learning.
In addition to the knowledge and skills you'll develop, perhaps the greatest benefit are the collegial relationships and connections you'll make to other teachers throughout the state! Don't take our word for it, though - listen to what our past participants have to say:
I feel less alone and that's important to me in this profession. I like being part of a learning community. Thanks for making this possible for us! -Cheryl
Being able to learn the subject through hands on activities was very meaningful and worth every minute of my time. -Maria
The most valuable part of the professional development experience was implementing the strategies we learned about during the first week with the children the second week. What good is learning about how to do something with children if you cannot practice it? -Sara
The most meaningful or helpful part of the QuEST summer institute for me was the collaboration with other teachers working together as a unit on a science inquiry. This collaboration was more meaningful to me because it sparked conversation, curiosity, questioning, and debate from the members of the group and led to more intellectual participation while working on a particular science inquiry. -Detra
The most meaningful part of QUEST was learning that there is SUPPORT out there for me! After attending the QUEST summer institute, my students now have 42 teachers when I teach them- a pupil/teacher ratio beyond our budget! -Anne
QuEST also provides opportunities for elementary students, preservice elementary teachers, and professional development providers. For more information, please visit one of the links in the menu above.