Category Archives: News

CTI News News

Cheers to Our 2017 CTI Evening for Educators Presenters!

Cheers to all our great presenters at CTI’s Evening for Educators event Oct. 17 at Discovery Place Education Studio. Presenters included current and former CTI Fellows from CTI Seminars, and CTI Fellows, Seminar Leaders and UNCC graduate assistants who participated in our Summer Research Experience for Teachers.
          Our guests — CMS teachers, CTI supporters and local community members — were very impressed with the excellent curriculum ideas provided, and got lots of great ideas to take back to their students and schools. Many thanks to these presenters for sharing their super engaging, innovative work!

CTI Fellows Curricula

  • Justine Busto, English as a Second Language teacher, East Mecklenburg High School: Using Graphic Novels and Picture Books in the High School and Middle School Classroom
  • Matthew Kelly, Spanish teacher, Independence High School:  Una imagen vale mil palabras: Using Hispanic Art with Novice Learners of Spanish
  • Jennifer Ladanyi, language arts teacher, Bailey Middle School:  Graphic Novels: Reading Critically from Texts to Images
  • Pam Shembo, fifth grade French immersion teacher, E.E. Waddell Academy:  Words of African Wisdom through Leuk the Hare in a French Immersion Classroom
  • Amy Thomas, math teacher, Reedy Creek Elementary School:  Number Awareness and Place Value
  • Janet Raybon, forensic science teacher, Myers Park High School:  The Rest of the Story: A Study of Death, Decomposition and Metamorphosis
  • Tyler Godensky, forensic science student, Myers Park High School:  Decomposition and the Life Cycle of the Blow Fly

CTI Summer Research Experience for Teachers (SRET)

Silver Nanoparticles for Enhanced Efficiency in Solar Applications

  • Wendy Potter, apparel and textile production teacher, Butler High School
  • Kari Rhoades, biomedical science teacher, Mallard Creek High School
  • Kathleen Dipple, graduate assistant in chemistry, UNC Charlotte
  • Meesha Kaushal, graduate assistant in chemistry, UNC Charlotte

How You Can Use Fluorescence and Light to Demonstrate Chemistry Concepts in Your Classroom

  • Phil Carver, science teacher, James Martin Middle School
  • Margaret Kocherga, graduate assistant in chemistry, UNC Charlotte
  • Dr. Tom Schmedake, associate professor of chemistry, UNC Charlotte

Examining the Effects of Freeze/Thaw Cycles on Porcine Skin Using Spectral Analysis

  • Curtis Overton, technology & design teacher, West Mecklenburg High School

SRET Graduate Student Research

Studying the effects of Peripheral Alkyl Chains on Exciton Diffusion Parameters in Porphyrin-PCBM Thin Films for OPV Applications

  • Meesha Kaushal, graduate assistant in chemistry, UNC Charlotte

Fabrication of Tunable Silver Nanorod Films for Solar Applications

  • Kathleen Dipple, graduate assistant in chemistry, UNC Charlotte


CTI News

Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists

Excited young minds at James Martin Middle School were treated by a collaboration of their teachers and scientist who worked together at this year’s CTI Summer Research Experience for Teachers (SRET). Two 8th grade science teachers from James Martin Middle School, Geneva Bell and Phil Carver, worked with a Ph.D. graduate student and professor of chemistry from UNC Charlotte, Margaret Kocherga and Dr. Tom Schmedake, this summer to research and develop new STEM curricula. This wonderful group wanted to share their expertise and enthusiasm with students, so, they planned a series of four fall activities to show the students and the community the engaging, fun side of science.

It began with James Martin Middle School Curriculum Night on Oct, 10, where students and parents engaged in a variety of scientific activities and lectures. Carver described what students gained from the experience:  “Hands-on lab activities and a new perspective from a professor and graduate student from a large university.” He added, “Dr. Schmedake discussed career opportunities for science-related jobs in Charlotte and North Carolina” including sharing salaries for scientists to his 8th grade students.  The labs included activities such as how to assemble Blackberry Solar Cells from TiO2 nanoparticles and graphite and experiments with dry ice.

On Oct. 11, Schmedake and Kocherga visited Bell and Carver’s classroom with a host of hands-on activities “that were related to various subjects they have already covered in their 8th grade science class,” Kocherga explained. On Nov. 11, the four will share their experiences at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) with scientists, educators and students in a presentation called “Teachers in the Lab:  A Research Experience with Fluorescent Dyes in Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs).”  Finally, on Nov. 15, Schmedake and Kocherga will return to Bell and Carver’s 8th grade science students to continue their project-based learning scientific demonstrations.  

In the end, the research team sought “to break stereotypes about ‘boring science,’ and inspire a new generation to pursue STEM fields and continue advancement in technologies that are used in daily life” as Margaret Kocherga described. The team helped open the young minds at James Martin to a world of possibilities that science provides. It is amazing to see these teachers and scientist inspire the next generation of scientists today to create a better world tomorrow.


Written By: Grayson Hollowell

Photos By: CTI Director- Scott Gartlan

CTI News

CTI Fellows Shared Collaborative Laboratory Research at 2017 SRET Reception Sept. 7

Story and photos by Grayson Hollowell, CTI Communications & Administrative Assistant


Fascinating research, our awesome CTI Fellows, and many attentive guests all came together for CTI’s Summer Research Experience for Teachers (SRET) Reception on Thursday, September 7, at UNC Charlotte’s Atkins Library.

Eight teams comprised of CTI Fellows, graduate assistants and professors, from UNC Charlotte and Davidson College, collaborated in physics and chemistry research labs during June and July. At the SRET Reception, they displayed posters illustrating their findings and discussed them with reception attendees. CTI Fellows’ posters and research information can be found on CTI’s SRET webpage.

Deans, faculty, staff and and our other CTI Fellows joined us to commend and learn from the great research gleaned from the SRET projects. The public did the same, creating a wonderful, intellectual and casual atmosphere, accompanied by pizzas and drinks.

Thank you to everyone who attended and to all who participated in SRET. Congratulations on your marvelous hard work!


CTI News News

CTI Fellows Present at CMS Science Curriculum Day

Six CTI Fellows presented lessons from their CTI Summer Research Experience for Teachers with teaching colleagues at the CMS Science Curriculum Day Aug. 17 at South Mecklenburg High School. SRET Fellows shared what distinguishes CTI’s professional development from other PD, how they became involved in CTI’s SRET, research methods and concepts they explored in university laboratories, and their plans to implement research in their classrooms this fall, with the help of UNC Charlotte graduate students.

CTI presenters included Michelle Faggert (Martin Luther King MS), Namrata Gupta (Nations Ford ES) and Curtis Overton (West Mecklenburg HS) from Dr. Susan’s Trammell’s physics lab; Geneva Bell and Phil Carver (both at James Martin MS) from Dr. Tom Schmedake’s chemistry lab; and Kari Rhoades from Dr. Marcus Jones’ chemistry lab. Each of the three groups presented two 50-minute sessions for other CMS science teachers.
Cheers to these dedicated Fellows for sharing their SRET learning with other teachers!
CTI News

UNC Charlotte Undergraduate Wins Honor Working on CTI Research

Hao Djur presenting her research on CTI at the 2017 Summer Research Symposium (photo credit: Lynn Roberson)
Geraldine Abinader presenting her research on CTI at the 2017 Summer Research Symposium (photo credit: Lynn Roberson)

Two UNC Charlotte undergraduate students participated in UNC Charlotte’s Charlotte Community Scholars program aimed at fostering research skills in the area of civic engagement.  Geraldine Abinader, a mathematics major and Spanish and Urban Youth and Communities minor, and Hao Djur, an anthropology and biology and Urban Youth and Communities minor, completed intensive research projects over the course of the 9-week summer program.  At the 2017 Summer Research Symposium, Geraldine received first place in the “Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, Business, and Art” category for “Student Learning + Retention = Teacher Growth:  A Product Evaluation Case Study among CTI Fellows.”  Read more on College of Liberal Arts & Sciences website.

CTI News

CTI Fellows Start Their Research Engines at the Prospectus Writing & Research Jam May 20

About 25 of our dedicated Fellows rose early on a Saturday morning (May 20) to start their curriculum unit work at the CTI Prospectus Writing & Research Jam at UNC Charlotte Center City. They fueled up with a full breakfast buffet and then got down to energetic planning with UNC Charlotte Librarians Abby Moore and Jenna Rinalducci, CTI teacher leaders and staff, and each other. It was a great collaborative effort to set up Fellows with technology, clear goals and creative ideas for moving forward with their research.

Abby and Jenna shared detailed research support websites they developed for CTI Fellows, designed to explore specific content areas related to each seminar:

Davidson College Librarian James Sponsel also organized a Davidson research support site for Fellows and an easy to use guide to the Zotero citation and bibliography management tool.

Many thanks to Abby, Jenna and James for their generous dedication to CTI Fellows, and to these experienced teacher leaders who provided valuable feedback to our new and returning Fellows at the Writing Jam:  Steering Committee Members Miesha Gadsden, Deb Jung, Deb Semmler and Connie Wood; and Seminar Coordinators Amethyst Klein,Wendy Potter, Rima Sohl and Amy Thomas.

CTI Fellows will have the summer to research their topic areas in depth and refine their objectives and content focus. All Fellows are charged to bring their seminar learning back to their classrooms through the original CTI Curriculum Units they create, specifically for their own students.

CTI News News

CTI Welcomes 104 CMS Teachers as 2017 CTI Fellows

CHARLOTTE – May 2017 – Charlotte Teachers Institute welcomed its new cohort of 104 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers into its innovative, interdisciplinary seminars for 2017.

“This year’s CTI Fellows represent a wide range of CMS teachers, from pre-kindergarten to high school, they teach courses from physics to French and literacy to special education,” said CTI Director Scott Gartlan. “We continue to create significant growth opportunities for teacher leaders looking to deepen their knowledge base and impact the lives of their students.”

CTI’s eight concurrent seminars began with an orientation at Discovery Place Science in April and will run through November. CTI seminars are led by faculty experts in the arts and sciences, including five from UNC Charlotte and three from Davidson College.

In each seminar, 13 CMS teachers (CTI Fellows) and a faculty leader work closely together in exploring a topic in depth, with each teacher creating a new curriculum designed for his or her own students. CTI Fellows receive full access to both Davidson College and UNC Charlotte resources, as well as memberships to Discovery Place and the Charlotte Museum of History, and complimentary tickets to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Art + Culture and the Levine Museum. Each Fellow is awarded a $1,500 stipend and continuing education credits upon completion of the seminar.

The 2017 Seminars, Leaders, Coordinators and Fellows include:

Using Mathematics to Understand Social Issues

Seminar Leader: Anthony Fernandes, Mathematics and Statistics, UNC Charlotte

Seminar Coordinator: Rima Solh, Math, Southwest Middle School

Jeffrey Barnes, Math, Rocky River HS

Antowanna Carpenter, CTE/Business, Butler HS

Javier Cely, Math, Collinswood Language

Emiko Furuya, Fifth Grade, Waddell Language Academy

Katelyn Gardepe, Fifth Grade            , Selwyn ES

Mary Catherine Grant, Third Grade, McAlpine ES

Camay Hunter, Math, West Charlotte HS

Gwendalyn Iversen, Second Grade, Winding Springs ES

Paige Laurain, Math, West Charlotte HS

Kelly McManus, Math, Martin Luther King, Jr. MS

Vertina Rhim, Math, Whitewater MS

Jimi’ E. Rogers, Kindergarten, Nations Ford ES

Media and Minorities: Unpacking Stereotypes

Seminar Leader: Debra C. Smith, Africana Studies, UNC Charlotte

Seminar Coordinator: Franchone Bey, English, West Charlotte High School

Eli Davis, Special Education, Lincoln Heights Academy

Audrey Dorante, History, East Mecklenburg HS

DeNise Gerst, Science, Barringer Academic Center

Mic Hamrick, Kindergarten, E.E. Waddell Language Academy

Shanique Lee, English, North Mecklenburg HS

Marielle Matheus, Third Grade, Irwin Academic Center

Latonda Mitchell, 2nd Grade, Mountain Island Lake Academy

Chrisana Paul, Literacy, Coulwood STEM Academy

Liza Quinn, Literacy, E.E. Waddell Language Academy

Kim Scouller  Second Grade Barringer Academic Center

Annette Teasdell, English/ History, North Mecklenburg HS

Torie Wheatley, English, North Mecklenburg HS

Chemical Interactions in the Body

Seminar Leader: Erland Stevens, Chemistry, Davidson College

Seminar Coordinator: Kassie Woodard, Chemistry, W.A. Hough High School

Morgan Andrews, Psychology, W.A. Hough HS

Kathleen Butler, Dance, South Charlotte MS

Phil Carver, Science, Coulwood STEM Academy

NaKreshia Cox, Science, Sedgefield MS

Mariella Duarte, ESL, Whitewater MS

Monica High, Science, Hawthorne Academy

Christie Johnson, Science/Social Studies, Northeast MS

Kari Rhoades, Biomedical Sciences, Mallard Creek HS

Jackie Smith, Forensic Science, W.A. Hough HS

Nicole Sparrow, English, Hawthorne Academy of Health Sciences

Joshua Trujillo, Science, W.A. Hough HS

Erika Williams, Biomedical Science, Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology

Memorials, Memories, and American Identity  (meets at the Levine Museum of the New South)

Seminar Leader:  Emily Makas, Architectural and Urban History, UNC Charlotte

Seminar Coordinator: Wendy Potter, Apparel Production, Butler High School

Nicole Boyd, Fifth Grade, Dilworth ES

Rhonda Doe, Kindergarten, Barringer Academic Center

Yasmin Forbes, African American Studies, West Mecklenburg HS

Tracy Kennedy, Fourth Grade/Japanese, E.E. Waddell Language Academy

Deanna Kurtz, Civics/Economics, South Mecklenburg HS

Megan McGee, Language Arts, McClintock MS

Ted Miracle, Fourth Grade, Endhaven ES

Alicia Olmeda, ESL , Coulwood STEM Academy

Beth Owens, Visual Art, Reedy Creek ES

Jaclyn Peterson, Fifth Grade, David Cox Road ES

Lecia Shockley, Third Grade, Selwyn ES

Don Winborne, Physical Education , Elon Park ES

Doing Science: Hands-On Learning in the Laboratory

Seminar Leader: Susan Trammell, Physics and Optical Science, UNC Charlotte

Seminar Coordinator: Amy Thomas, First Grade, Reedy Creek Elementary School

Scott Balay, Science, E.E. Waddell Language Academy

Geneva Bell, Science, Druid Hills Academy

Tracie Cooper, Science, Hidden Valley ES

Michelle Faggert, Science, Martin Luther King, Jr. MS

Katrina Gordon, Second Grade, Selwyn ES

Namrata Gupta, Science, Nations Ford ES

Ryan Neesam, K-5 Science, Military & Global Leadership Academy at Marie G. Davis

Curtis Overton, Technology/Design, West Mecklenburg HS

Zachary Sanford, Science, W.A. Hough HS

Meg Shuman, Fourth Grade, Barringer Academic Center

Jessica Silva, Science Lab, Rama Road ES

Victoria Woods, Science, Independence HS

Cultivating Visual Literacy

Seminar Leader: Maggie McCarthy, German Studies and Film, Davidson College

Seminar Coordinator: Deena Aglialoro, Language Arts, Ranson Middle School

Janae Aiken, English , East Mecklenburg HS

Kate Allen, Visual Art, W.A. Hough HS

Lora Davis, French, South Mecklenburg HS

Jacci Fizet, Pre-Kindergarten, David Cox Road ES

Michele Lemere, English, Garinger HS

Kim Mayes, Science, Cochrane Collegiate Academy

Erin Murray, Kindergarten, Barringer Academic Center

Justin Pierce, Visual Art, W.A. Hough HS

Alejandro Rangel, Spanish, Military & Global Leadership Academy at Marie G. Davis

Emily Woods, Fourth Grade, Barringer Academic Center

Amanda Soesbee, English, North Mecklenburg HS

Jessica Young, Second Grade, Davidson ES

The Rise (and Fall) of Democracies around the World

Seminar Leader: Shelley Rigger, Political Science, Davidson College

Seminar Coordinator: Amy Strong Pasko, World History, North Mecklenburg High School

Brad Baker , U.S. History, W.A. Hough HS

Raymond Beamon, World History, West Mecklenburg HS

Arianna Bonner, Social Studies, Martin Luther King, Jr. MS

Mayra Garcia, Spanish, W.A. Hough HS

Bassam Halaweh, Arabic, Military & Global Leadership Academy at Marie G. Davis

Cheryl Hanly, Language Arts, McClintock MS

Ron King, History, West Charlotte HS

Lisa Modrow, Social Studies, Bailey MS

Christa Rawald, Social Studies, Ranson MS

Michael Richards, World History, Bailey MS

Lynn Roach, Economics, Harding University HS

Roshan Varghese, History, Butler HS

From Self to Students: Canvassing Art to Explore Identity  (meets at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art)

Seminar Leaders: Adriana L. Medina, Reading and Elementary Education, UNC Charlotte, and Christopher Lawing, Vice President, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Seminar Coordinator: Amethyst Klein, STEAM, University Park Creative Arts School

Carla Aaron-Lopez, Visual Art, Whitewater MS

Liz Allard, Science, Cochrane Collegiate Academy

Emily Burrell, Math, Piedmont Open IB MS

Nicholas Gattis, Band, Carmel MS

Mary Draper Hager, Second Grade, Selwyn ES

Natalie Jones, Visual Art, West Charlotte HS

Jaianna McCants, Visual Art, North Mecklenburg HS

Marjorie O’Shea, Visual Art, W.A. Hough HS

Mindy Passe, Fifth Grade, Barringer Academic Center

Laura Steffy, Visual Art, North Mecklenburg HS

Andy Wertz, English/Film, Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology

Amy Whealdon, Visual Art, Reid Park ES

CTI News

Why I continue to teach in CMS

Teacher Testimonials about Retention and CTI:  Responses from the 2016 Fellows’ Questionnaire

CTI helped me remember the love and passion that I have for teaching. I became jaded over the years working in education, but this seminar was an amazing opportunity for me to refresh myself and become more passionate about teaching students. If I had not had this opportunity, I probably would not be teaching now.

CTI was a great experience and is definitely a reason to consider CMS. Being closer to the end of my career than the beginning, CTI factors in my decision to stay in CMS until retirement because of the opportunities to be published and to earn the extra stipend money.

CTI is one of the very few opportunities that I have to feel that I have independence in my teaching. Even more importantly, it is the aspect of my job that makes me feel like a professional.

CTI has provided a welcome experience in which I am treated like a professional and have grown as a teacher and a leader. It is one of the most positive things I have done and has kept me refreshed and inspired as a teacher.

CTI has impacted my decision to continue teaching in CMS because of the opportunity given to collaborate with other teachers and partner with local colleges. The idea and vision of CTI is very creative and allows teachers to present educational materials that encourages students to think creatively.

CTI has added interest and value to my job. The opportunity to participate in CTI has given me more motivation and confidence in doing well.

Currently experiencing an existential crisis in my professional life, so I have no idea what I’m doing with my life! But CTI has helped me realize that teaching is more about growth as an individual more than anything.

I considered looking for jobs in Cabarrus County, but didn’t want to miss the opportunity to work in CMS with CTI.

If I did not have CTI to impact my teaching I would not have stayed with CMS as a teacher.

CTI is one of the most positive things about CMS. I considered leaving CMS this year but didn’t in large part because of my commitment to CTI. I hope to continue with it for many years.

CTI has helped me decide to continue teaching in CMS because they offer professional development that actually helps. I am able to talk with teachers of multiple grade levels instead of just my own so that I can see where the progression of knowledge goes. This why I can tailor my instruction to help fill needs that show up in later grades by giving my students a base of knowledge to work with.

I live in Union County but choose to stay in CMS this year for CTI.

The CTI seminars gave me encouragements through meeting other teachers who shared interests in improving teaching.

I enjoy the collaboration with the other fellows and the leader. I have grown alot from that experience.

It gives leadership role and a great achievement to be proud of.

I feel participating in CTI assists me in my personal growth goals.

The connection to the universities, opportunities to learn from professors, to have meaningful/intellectual conversations with peers, to learn and grow as a teacher on topics that interest me, and opportunities to earn more income make this program a huge incentive.

CTI is a great professional development for me as a teacher. It often recharges me and gives me new ideas and new strategies for the classroom.

I love working with teachers in CTI. The fellowship and sharing of ideas makes me a better teacher.

It makes me still want to be a teacher. It pushed me to go out of my comfort zone and continue my understanding of math. It shows me it’s possible to still teach and forward my education.

CTI is a wonderful program. It provides a creative outlet for developing curriculum units and opportunities to collaborate with UNCC and Davidson faculty as well as teachers I normally would not get to meet. This is very refreshing and definitely motivates me to continue teaching.

I like that CMS has opportunities like this, which keeps me engaged with CMS.

CTI is a great teacher retention tool. As I have thought about switching positions or leaving the profession in the past years, I have not wanted to quit a commitment I made to CTI which has kept me here.

I considered leaving for Lincoln County this school year but CTI was my biggest reservation in applying for the position!

I was assigned the inclusion classroom, without my input. I was extremely overwhelmed and depressed at the beginning of this year. Every day was a struggle and I really wanted to leave CMS. If it were not for CTI, I would have left. CTI gave me something positive to look forward to every week and gave me hope for my future. CTI was my angel.

CTI is a wonderful program. For me, it provides an intellectual stimulation and helps me grow as a learner. CTI has become for me the best teacher development offered by CMS. I love it and recommend it to everyone.

CTI is the best professional development offered within CMS.

The most collaborative PD I have experienced. I value the opportunity to meet and work with teachers from different grade levels and disciplines.

CTI News

Giving Back to Charlotte Teachers Institute

GIVE to CTI’s Crowdfunding Project today!  

Charlotte Teachers Institute is an educational partnership with UNC Charlotte, Davidson College and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to strengthen teaching and learning.  Research finds that teachers are the most important factor in raising student achievement.  Your gift will directly affect public school PreK-12 teachers and students, university and college professors, and staff in Charlotte Teachers Institute in the following ways:

  • Transformed Teachers – PreK-12 classroom teachers collaborate in content-rich seminars with university and college professors who facilitate learning experiences based on cutting-edge research.  Your gift will enrich CTI seminars by providing teachers with opportunities to co-create alongside scholars and community partners.
  • Engaged Students – P-12 classroom teachers create original, innovative curricula that motivates their students to reach new academic heights.  Your gift will provide resources to help teachers create new content for their classrooms from the science lab to the writers’ workshop.  
  • Experienced Faculty – Expert professors of the liberal arts and sciences are the lifeblood of CTI seminars.  CTI professors lead seminars all around Charlotte, including at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Discovery Place, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, and Levine Museum of the New South. Your gift will provide opportunities to support professors who lead CTI seminars focused on making connections to the greater Charlotte Community.
  • Committed Partners and Donors – A big part of CTI’s success is ongoing program evaluation.  Working with stakeholders — teachers, undergraduate and graduate students, professors and community leaders — CTI is committed to continued improvement and growth.  Your gift will support long-term planning and execution of mixed-methods evaluation plans.  

Your tax-deductible gift will transform teaching in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and help elevate the teaching profession.  Please email to inquire about giving back to teachers and CTI today.  Thanks!

CTI News News

CTI Open House 2017

We had a great turnout for our Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) Open House 2017! Over 100 teachers from more than 50 different Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools were able to meet with our 2017 Seminar Leaders and learn more about the different seminars that we are offering this year.

Applications are now open and available through March 9th.

2016 CTI News Vol 8: Exploring Memoir - From Picture Book to Digital Story

Exploring Science through Memoir

Kassie Woodard, High School Science, William A Hough High School

Curriculum Unit (pdf)

read more »

CTI News News

Fellows’ Finale 2016

Fellows’ Finale 2016 was a success! We had an awesome time celebrating our 93 Fellows and their accomplishments in completing their seminars and Curriculum Units this year! A fun filled night jam-packed with laughter and shared memories over the year that united the Fellows together with CTI.

CTI News News

2017 CTI Seminars Announced

Six of the 2017 CTI seminars have been announced.  The Teacher Steering Committee plans to add two more before January 2017.  Interested CMS teachers should read the seminar descriptions and reach out with any questions.  Also, please check the 2017 seminar schedule so you know the full commitment.  Additionally, please review the admissions review policies.  Check back often to learn more about the final two seminars.

Press Releases

Evening for Educators 2016: Teachers Present Their Science Research and Original Art

October 4th, 2016–  Local teachers will present their ideas and research about science, art and the humanities and what they’ve learned about themselves as teachers at Evening for Educators on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Discovery Place Education Studio. Presented by Charlotte Teachers Institute and Discovery Place Education Studio, Evening for Educators focuses on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers’ summer learning experiences as CTI Fellows. Fellows contributed to chemistry and physics research projects in UNC Charlotte research laboratories, and explored teacher identity through art at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.

The teachers, from a wide variety of subject areas and grade levels K-12, will discuss their experiences and share poster presentations and art work in a variety of media during Evening for Educators. The event includes refreshments and is free and open to the public. The Discovery Place Education Studio is located at 300 N. Poplar Street in uptown Charlotte. Registration is recommended at

The spotlighted teachers are all Fellows in CTI seminars. Twelve CTI Fellows participated in summer research in UNC Charlotte science laboratories with Dr. Susan Trammell, associate professor of physics and optical science, and Dr. Marcus Jones, associate professor of chemistry, and several of the professors’ graduate and undergraduate students. CTI Director Scott Gartlan said this Summer Science Research Experience for Teachers was a powerful intersection of teaching and learning at all levels, involving collaboration among teachers, professors, graduate students and undergraduate students.

“Our teachers contributed in hands-on, meaningful ways to critical, cutting-edge research with real-life applications. They are excited and empowered to take these experiences back to their own classrooms to share with their students in CMS,” Gartlan said.

Eighteen CTI Fellows also participated in a summer workshop at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art where they explored teacher identity as portrayed in the media as well as their own understanding of themselves as teachers. “Teacher Identity: Pop Culture’s Influences, Images and Narratives” was led by Dr. Adriana Medina, associate professor of reading and elementary education at UNC Charlotte, and Christopher Lawing, vice president of programming and research at the Bechtler Museum.

“Teachers had an extended, very personal opportunity to draw upon the Bechtler’s amazing art collection and then create their own artistic representations of what it means to be a teacher,” Gartlan said. The teachers’ art is currently housed at the Bechtler and will be displayed at the Discovery Place Education Studio during this Evening for Educators event Oct. 18.

Other CTI Fellows from grades K-12 will also share innovative new curricula for a wide variety of subject areas that they developed for their own classrooms through CTI seminars.

About Charlotte Teachers Institute

Charlotte Teachers Institute is an educational partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte that works to improve teaching in Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools. CTI cultivates content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. Programs include long-term seminars and special events for teachers, as well as community presentations.

Currently, 92 CMS teachers in grades K-12 are enrolled in eight, multidisciplinary seminars that began in the spring and continue until December, where teachers are creating new curriculum units for their students. These curriculum units generate learning beyond each teacher’s classroom, as the final units are shared with teachers’ school colleagues and are also published on the CTI website, providing access to teachers worldwide.

CTI is made possible by a joint commitment of resources from all three Institute partners and through the generosity of private funding institutions such as Wells Fargo and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The Institute is housed at UNC Charlotte within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

For more information, contact CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan, 704-687-0078,

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools media contact: Renee McCoy, 980-343-0954,

Davidson College Public Relations media contact: Jay Pfeiffer, 704-894-2920,

UNC Charlotte media contact: Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830,

CTI News News

2012 CTI Seminar Leader Peter Tkacik Named Early-Career Professor

photo 3Peter Tkacik, associate professor of mechanical engineering and engineering science at UNC Charlotte, was named the Bonnie E. Cone Early-Career Professor in Teaching at the 2016 University Convocation.  Dr. Tkacik led the 2012 CTI Seminar, “The Science of NASCAR,” in the Motorsports Research Labs.  Teachers explored the nation’s fourth largest water channel, only Tomographic Particle Image Velocimetry system in the US, and lots of race cars.  Read more about Dr. Tkacik here.