Throughout his life and career, our benefactor, Jack Murdock, believed strongly in a handful of key principles. Among them were a staunch belief in the value of scientific exploration and research as a means of driving innovation to serve the common good and the importance of facilitating hands on learning opportunities through professional partnerships.
One of the ways we continue to pursue these values in the ongoing work of the Murdock Trust is through the Partners in Science Program. Celebrating its 31st year, the Partners in Science Program helps create opportunities for high school educators to participate in real research projects in labs around the Pacific Northwest. Participants bring these hands-on experiences to their classroom to help inform their approach to lesson planning and they also have an opportunity to present their work at a national conference held in January.
To date, more than 600 teachers across the Pacific Northwest have participated in the Partners in Science Program, supported by $6.4 million in funding. And while 2021’s conference will look a bit different as we connect with one another virtually, we are beyond excited for what is in store for our participants. In addition to opportunities for educators to connect with one another and develop new strategies for fostering enthusiasm for science among students, attendees will hear from two incredible keynote speakers:
- Dr. Carl Wieman, a professor of Physics and Education at Stanford University, won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2001. Most teachers know of PhET simulations which provides online interactive simulations. Dr. Wieman founded PhET interactive in 2002. He is currently studying expertise and problem solving in science and engineering disciplines, and how this can be better measured and taught, with the goal to impact how we teach in the classroom today.
- On Saturday, we will hear from a long-time Partners in Science mentor, Dr. Larry Sherman, a Professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology and in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the Oregon Health & Science University. As a neurologist he will share how our brains engage in prejudice, the consequences of prejudice and racism, and how understanding these processes suggest ways that we can overcome prejudice and racism in our society.
Participation in Partners in Science is open to all high school science educators serving in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. You can find more information on how to apply here.