In Phase I, there are 2 tiers to C-E professional development:
In Tier 1, district-based Design Teams of 3 teachers (1 each from ES, MS and HS), 1 district administrator and 1 university or industry scientist spend 6 months designing 6-hour Big Idea Modules (BIMs) that trace the development of a big idea (core concept) across the elementary, middle, and high school levels, modeling the inquiry approach and making important concept connections across grade levels and among science and math disciplines. BIM design is the most powerful professional development experience in CONNECT-ED.
In Tier 2, Design Teams present their BIMs to other teachers in 2-week Summer Institutes in conjunction with Princeton University’s QUEST program, and/or in school-year Mini-Institutes offered either at Rider or in districts, often incorporated into district staff development days.
From 2003 - 2008, Phase I generated significant resources:
- 45 Design Teams with expertise in big ideas thinking and inquiry-centered teaching/learning
- Many CONNECT-ED districts have clusters of up to six Design Teams representing multiple disciplines.
- 45 Big Idea Modules (BIMs) in 5 disciplines: chemistry, physics/astronomy, earth science, life science, and mathematics.
- 45 materials “kits” to support existing BIMs
- Annual 2-week Summer Institutes, regional C-E Conferences, and multiple 1-day Mini-Institutes