Welcome to Ohio State's GK-12 Program

Please Check the News & Events page for updates on the 2009-2010 application process. We are now accepting applications! Deadline is Monday June 8th 2009. Click Apply Now to start the application process.

The NSF GK-12 program is designed to partner elementary school teachers and scientists in an effort to improve science education.  The Ohio State University and Columbus Public Schools are working together to foster collaboration between 3rd – 5th grade teachers and science graduate students.  Through participation in the program fellows will hone their communication and teaching skills; teachers will strengthen their ability to teach science concepts; and elementary school students will benefit from inquiry-based, experiment-centered science lessons.  Scientists and teachers involved will learn from each other’s unique backgrounds and skills.  All of this will lead to a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship between university scientists and local teachers. 

The GK-12 program has been actively involved in enhancing science instruction in CPS elementary schools since 1999.  By generating enthusiasm for teaching and learning science, the program has been instrumental in improving 4th grade science proficiency test passing rates in many schools.  Participating teachers have developed stronger interest in science instruction and have greatly improved their comfort with a wide range of science content.  Teachers have also learned how to make use of a wide range of resources to create more engaging science lessons.

GK-12 fellows benefit from involvement in many ways.  Their team interaction skills improve through their experience in the program.  Public speaking and presentation skills are enriched through lesson implementation.  They develop communication skills that will be ever valuable in their interactions within and outside of their scientific careers.  The growing role of science and technology in modern society contributes to the expanding importance of interactions between scientists and their communities.  As fellows enter their careers they will have the advantage of in-depth experience in outreach and a firm understanding of how to approach community outreach productively.  

In September of 2006 eight new fellows and sixteen new teachers will begin their participation in 2006-2007 academic year.  Each fellow will work with two teachers for a total of ten hours a week in the classroom.  Teacher-fellow teams will be expected to dedicate time to planning innovative, inquiry-based lessons each week.  Participation in a 3-day summer training session, two professional development workshops during the school year, and two focus meetings during the year are mandatory. 

Learn more about the program