North Carolina teachers walked the halls of Novozymes North America in Franklinton this summer, talking to scientists about developments in manufacturing enzymes and microorganisms used in food industries, including agriculture, baking and foods.
The day-long experience for 19 North Carolina K-12 teachers was held August 3 and was made possible with funding from Novozymes North America. The North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research (NCABR) coordinated the program as part of its Rx for Science Literacy teacher professional development workshop series. The program was held in partnership with Novozymes and East Carolina University's (ECU) FoodMASTER Initiative, which was funded by the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
"Bringing K-12 educators into North Carolina research organizations, where the educators receive free teaching materials developed by faculty at NCABR member colleges and universities, and where these teachers have an opportunity to talk with and learn from North Carolina scientists is the goal of the Rx for Science Literacy workshop series," said NCABR President Suzanne Wilkison of the program, which is now in its 23rd year.
The workshop provided educators with the free FoodMASTER curriculum, which consists of an overview of how to use food as a tool to teach mathematics and science with engaging hands-on, minds-on activities for the classroom. Teachers also toured Novozymes to gain a deeper and practical understanding of food science in industry practice.
During the workshop, Dr. Melani Duffrin, principal investigator of the FoodMASTER Initiative, shared with teachers how the FoodMASTER approach has had positive impacts on students and teachers.
“There is nothing like visiting a school that is implementing FoodMASTER materials and watching the students and teachers close out a curriculum unit with such enthusiasm for learning more science,” Duffrin said. “The FoodMASTER Initiative was delighted to partner with Novozymes and NCABR to bring tested and effective teaching materials to North Carolina educators through this workshop. FoodMASTER seeks to connect as many educators as possible with its free, easy-to-use, teaching materials, which transform student learning about math, science and nutrition.”
NCABR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by the leaders in North Carolina's bioscience research community. NCABR's members and supporters include academia, industry, government, and nonprofit research organizations.
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