UI’s Cory Forbes helps foster K-12 science

Cory Forbes works at his desk

In the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which assesses 4th-8th graders around the world, the United States ranked 11th in the science category. These kinds of results have both caused concern and spurred new research about how to better educate America’s youth in the sciences.

This is where Cory Forbes comes in. Forbes is an assistant professor of science education at the University of Iowa (UI) and a Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER) member. Since arriving at UI in 2009, Forbes has led a series of research projects aimed at finding more affective ways to teach and foster learning of the sciences for elementary and middle school students.

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CGRER’s Forbes nets grant to improve elementary science education teaching

From the University of Iowa News Services:

Cory Forbes
Cory Forbes

Elementary educators (grades K-6) are expected to be content experts in many different areas -– from math and literacy to science.

Yet few of them have the specialized training and support necessary to excel in this critical content area, according to Cory Forbes, science education assistant professor in the University of Iowa College of Education.

However, thanks to a grant of more than $250,000, Forbes is launching a project in the Davenport Community School District this fall that investigates how and why elementary teachers use existing science curriculum materials to teach science. The goal is to help educators teach science in ways that best promote student learning.

The district is one of Iowa’s largest high-needs school districts, Forbes said, and this project will engage 60 elementary teachers in evaluation, planning and instruction.
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On the Radio: Spurring interest in the sciences, Back to School Special

This week marks the beginning of CGRER’s new radio segment (unsurprisingly) called the Iowa Environmental Focus. Below is the audio and transcript of our first clip. For more information on the segment, check out our “On the Radio” page.

Click here to listen to the clip (1:15).


How can we improve science education in Iowa’s schools?

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

As Iowa kids head back to school this fall, we would like to highlight a group of Iowa researchers working to make our classrooms better places to learn.

During the next two years, Cory Forbes, a U of I education professor, is leading a team that will engage 30 Davenport teachers to study how to improve the way science is taught in our schools.

Right now, many American kids are falling behind in science, showing little interest in the material. This project looks to change that by promoting interactive learning.

If more kids get the chance to DO science, kids may decide they like it. And if we see more interest in science here, our kids will better equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century and to keep Iowa prosperous.

For more information visit us at Iowa Environmental Focus dot O-R-G.

Welcome back to school, everybody. Let’s make this another great year in our local schools.

I’m Jerry Schnoor from the University of Iowa Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank you, and enjoy Iowa’s environment.