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 www.charlotteteachers.org.

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, info@charlotteteachers.org.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools media contact: Renee McCoy, 980-343-0954, renee.mccoy@cms.k12.nc.us

Davidson College Public Relations media contact: Jay Pfeiffer, 704-894-2920, japfeifer@davidson.edu

UNC Charlotte media contact: Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu