The University of Arizona

Research Trends & Updates for Science/Math Teachers

Last May, the UA College of Science held an open house for K-12 teachers at Flandrau Planetarium to announce our intent to greatly expand outreach efforts to educators that teach science at the K-12 levels. We also discussed with the 100+ teachers in attendance what you most want and need.

One of the ideas discussed last Spring was a course to help K-12 educators keep current in their science fields. This course which is being offered this Fall, has the following features:

  • you can take it for UA credit and professional development, or attend without registering and receive professional development credit;
  • those taking the course for UA credit will receive a $150 rebate on the tuition costs;
  • the subject, sustainability in the Sonoran Desert, will include information on cutting-edge research in the fields of chemistry, biology, physics, and environmental science;
  • there will be guest lectures by leading researchers in these fields and hands-on activities;
  • the course will be offered at Flandrau Science Center on Wednesday evenings, for 2 hours per class, for 8 weeks, rather than for 1 hour per class over 16 weeks.

Course Objectives

This course is designed for those teaching, or planning to teach, science at the K-12 level.  Students signing up for SCI 522 are expected to have completed a bachelors degree in education, science education, a science field, or mathematics.  Students signing up for SCI 422 typically will be in their Senior year in education or science education or a science field.

The course will focus on the science of sustainability in the Southwest.  What is the concept of sustainability and why its current appeal?  Drivers include climate change, population growth, national security concerns.  Dimensions include energy, water, land use, food and fiber; in the desert Southwest, the focus is on energy and water.  This course will look at how researchers in biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and optics are working to make sustainable production of energy and water an affordable reality.

Teachers provide input to new course on sustainability in the Sonoran Desert

Week 1: Overview of Sustainability
in a Desert
Week 2: Water/Energy Nexus
Week 3: Sustainable Homes
Week 4: Biofuels
Week 5: Water Harvesting and Water Reuse
Week 6: Sustainable Transportation
Week 7: Solar Energy for Power and Heat
Week 8: Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Storage

You can download a PDF of the course syllabus here (68K).

If you are seriously considering attending the class, please respond to the survey at the following link: