Category Archives: CTI News

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.

CTI News News

104 New Fellows Begin 2016 Seminars


Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) kicked off its 2016 Seminars at Discovery Place on April 21, 2016 with the Fellows Orientation.  104 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers representing kindergarten through 12th grade were selected as CTI Fellows and will participate in eight seminars led by Davidson College and UNC Charlotte professors.  Fellows met their Seminar Leaders (professors) during the orientation event, had a chance to dive into the seminar content  and networked with community partners from Charlotte Symphony, Discovery Place Education Studio, NASCAR Hall of Fame, and UNC Charlotte’s Writing Program.  Seminars take a break over the summer and pick up in September with weekly meetings through November.  Each Fellow writes a 20-page curriculum unit designed to motivate and challenge their students to new academic heights.  Read more.


CTI News News

Thanks to PwC for Empowering Teachers!

PwC_logo_smallCharlotte Teachers Institute is grateful to PwC for their participation in CTI’s 2016 Fellows Orientation and their generous contribution of $5,000 to support this year’s CTI Fellows. PwC Carolinas Marketing and Community Relations Leader Carrie Reeder provided an enthusiastic welcome during our Orientation event April 21 at Discovery Place and shared PwC’s goals for advancing financial literacy and partnering with teachers to bridge the financial literacy gap and increase economic mobility in our community.

Read more about PwC’s commitment to Empowering Teachers to Set Up Students for Financial Success.

CTI News News

Charlotte Teachers Institute to Host Open House for CMS Teachers

New Seminars for 2016 Announced

CHARLOTTE – Feb. 19, 2015 – Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) will host an Open House for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) teachers on Thursday, Feb. 25, 5:30-7:30 pm, at UNC Charlotte Center City in uptown Charlotte. Interested CMS teachers from all subject areas in grades preK-12 can register for the Open House at

CTI recently announced its new seminars for 2016, featuring a wide variety of engaging, interdisciplinary topics for teachers from all grade levels and subject areas. Interested CMS teachers can meet the seminar leaders (Davidson College and UNC Charlotte professors), learn more about the seminars and the application process at the Feb. 25 Open House. Full-time CMS teachers are eligible to apply. The online application deadline is March 10.

CTI’s 2016 seminars include:

  • Literacy and Literacies in the 21st Century led by Kyra Kietrys, Hispanic Studies, Davidson College

  • How Science Is Done: A Behind the Scenes Look at Scientific Research, Susan Trammell, Physics & Optical Science, UNC Charlotte

  • The Many Faces of Capitalism around the Globe – Past and Present, Jurgen Buchenau, History, UNC Charlotte

  • Writing with Power: No Fear Here, Brenda Flanagan, English, Davidson College

  • FUNdamental Ideas in Math for Grades PreK-12, Harold Reiter, Mathematics & Statistics, UNC Charlotte

  • It’s a Small World! Exploring Science at the Tiniest Scale, Marcus Jones, Chemistry, UNC Charlotte

  • Tracing the Legacy of Hispanic Cultures – 1492 to Today, Angela Willis, Hispanic Studies, Davidson College

  • Exploring Memoir – From Picture Book to Digital Story, Brian Kissel, Reading & Elementary Education, UNC Charlotte

CTI Fellows collaborate with higher education faculty in these long-term seminars to create innovative curricula for their own students. All eight seminars begin in April and continue through November, including a summer reading and research period. Each CTI Fellow receives a $1500 stipend and three continuing education credits for their curriculum development work.

CTI is in educational partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), Davidson College and UNC Charlotte, designed to strengthen teaching in CMS by cultivating content knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration among local public school teachers.


For more information, visit or contact CTI Director Scott Gartlan at

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

Davidson College media contact: Jay Pfeifer | 704-894-2920 |

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

CTI News News

CTI Celebrates 2015 Fellows and Their New Curricula

See their Engaging New Curricula Published on the CTI Website

Charlotte Teachers Institute recently recognized more than 80 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers as CTI Fellows for successfully completing CTI seminars and designing engaging new curricula for their students. CTI also announced publication of these CTI Fellows’ curriculum units on the CTI website where they are available for use by teachers worldwide.

CTI seminars are led by Davidson College and UNC Charlotte professors in the arts and sciences who challenge teachers to deepen their content knowledge and think in interdisciplinary ways. CTI Fellows in turn share their creative learning with their students and other teachers,

The 2015 CTI Fellows represent grade levels preK-12, and a wide range of subjects from language arts, world history, foreign languages and art, to math, sciences, technology, and more.

“Together, these teachers spent nearly 3,000 hours over seven months attending CTI seminars at Davidson College and UNC Charlotte,” said CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan. “In addition, they read and researched extensively, and wrote original curriculum units designed for their own students. They plan to share their new curricula with nearly 500 other CMS teachers, and almost 7,500 CMS students will learn from the units our Fellows created this year.”

Each CTI Fellow received three continuing education units and a stipend for seminar completion. CTI celebrated these teachers’ achievements at its Fellows’ Finale Celebration at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in December.

CTI presents eight, concurrent seminars each year, running April to December. CTI Fellows have created over 500 curriculum units created by CTI Fellows since 2009.

See the full list of 2015 CTI Fellows and their seminars.

CTI News

2016 CTI Seminars Announced

Seminars poster 2016



CTI News Current Events Events News

2016 CTI Teachers As Scholars: The Global Energy Challenge

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) teachers will share bright new ideas for teaching and learning about energy, at a CTI event for the public on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Discovery Place in Uptown Charlotte.


This “Teachers As Scholars” program features CMS teachers who collaborated on the topic “The Global Energy Challenge,” and highlights innovative curricula they developed during a long-term CTI seminar. CTI Seminar Leader Durwin Striplin, professor of chemistry at Davidson College, will also share his energy expertise at the free Feb. 4 event.

Sponsored by Duke Energy, the program begins with a reception and viewing of the CTI-generated, energy-related curricula from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by presentations and a panel discussion with Striplin and CTI Fellows until 8 p.m. Space is limited, so registration is recommended.

Featured topics and teachers include:

  • The Global Energy Challenge – Striplin
  • Energy Explorations – Lisa Lewis, First Grade, Mountain Island Lake Academy
  • Efficiency and Availability: Designing an Energy Self-Sufficient Community – Kory Trosclair, Science, Bailey Middle School
  • Creative Verve: The Merging of Metaphor and the Scientific Mind – Gloria Brinkman, Art, North Mecklenburg High School
  • A Good Planet is Hard to Find: Climate Change, Energy and Global Sustainability – Jeanne Cooper, Earth and Environmental Science, Mallard Creek High School

The event is an outgrowth of an intensive, seven-month-long CTI seminar Striplin led for CMS teachers in grades K-12, where they explored various forms of energy, the history and science behind its conservation, as well as what new technologies can address the global energy crisis. CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan said, “We are so proud to showcase teacher-written curricula focused on energy sciences for K-12 students.  These CTI Fellows are on the front lines inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

Thirteen sets of extensive, energy-related curriculum units for grades K-12 were developed by teachers in Striplin’s seminar and designed specifically for their own students. All 13 are published on the CTI website, along with 500 other teacher-created curricula from CTI.  Currently CTI is offering another eight seminars for 2016.

2015 CTI News Vol 1: Exercise and the Brain

Algernon’s Exercise Regimen

Molly McCarthy, Language Arts, Piedmont IB Middle School

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)

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2015 CTI News Vol 1: Exercise and the Brain

New Equation in Math Class: Movement=BRAIN BOOST

Leslie Paytes, Math, Crestdale Middle School

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)

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2015 CTI News Vol 1: Exercise and the Brain

Your Brain on Exercise: Linking Healthy Brains to Solutions for Environmental Health

Dr. Jeanne L. Cooper, Science, Mallard Creek High School

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)

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2015 CTI News Vol 1: Exercise and the Brain

Learning through Movement: Applying Exercise Education and Movement Activities in a Library Setting

Deborah Yu-Yuk Jung, Media Skills, Winding Springs Elementary

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)

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2015 CTI News Vol 1: Exercise and the Brain

Healthy Lifestyles: Empowering Our Students to Make Positive Diet and Exercise Choices

Dave Hartzell, Literacy, Shamrock Gardens Elementary School

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)

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2015 CTI News Vol 1: Exercise and the Brain

Exercise to Learn, Learn to Exercise!

DeNise Gerst, Elementary Science, Barringer Academic Center

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)

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2015 CTI News Vol 1: Exercise and the Brain

The Brain, Exercise, and Teaching Students of Poverty

Cassandra Black, PreK-8, Ashley Park

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)

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2015 CTI News Vol 1: Exercise and the Brain

Exercise and the Brain: Examining Why It Is Important To Take An Active Role In Learning How Exercise and Eating Healthy Can Affect The Brain.

Brandy Daniels, Kindergarten, Irwin Academic Center

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)

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