QUEST 2022

QUEST 2022 is once again in person on the Princeton University campus!  The program is designed to enhance teachers' knowledge of science and mathematics aligned with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Science and Math. Each session is co-taught by content experts, researchers and lead teachers so that participants develop skills to apply science/math content knowledge in their classrooms. QUEST seeks to increase teachers’ enthusiasm, knowledge and confidence in teaching science and math.

Space is limited and registration is required.

1. Machine Learning: Discovering the Rules of Life through Images is for teachers in grades K-12 in all content areas, June 26 - July 1, 2022 (Sunday 6/26 online and on campus 9AM-3PM Monday 6/27 - Friday 7/1)

Prior to the discovery of DNA and DNA sequencing, scientists have used visual observations to understand life on Earth. Just as the study of DNA was transformed into Genomics, the study of images is giving rise to a new field, Imageomics. The role of technology in learning has increased drastically, but what is the role of learning in technology? Can computers “see” something in images that scientists are not yet able to? Machine Learning has enabled computers to see the world and sort the most abundant source of information about life - photographic images. Computers dramatically speed up scientists' processes by analyzing vast amounts of data and have the potential to “see” traits that scientists can’t capture. By helping make the invisible, visible, scientists are discovering new biological relationships, asking new questions, and answering questions they could not answer before to better understand the rules of life. In a cyclical manner, computers are informing scientists and scientists are informing computers. A revolution in computational biology is underway.

During QUEST, educators will explore the role of machine learning in biology. They will investigate their own questions about local living things through the lens of “structure and function”. In this mini-research experience, educators will venture outdoors to take pictures, explore image data, and collaborate with peer educators. We encourage educators to let their sense of wonder lead as they explore the process of scientific inquiry through images.

Join us for this summer’s six-day QUEST program beginning virtually on Sunday, June 26th, then on-campus Monday, June 27th through Friday, July 1st and follow your curiosities through experiential learning. Seminal readings and discussions with Princeton University’s Daniel Rubenstein, the Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a member of the Teacher Preparation Program’s advisory council and Dr. Leanna House, Associate Professor of Statistics at Virginia Tech will provide background information on the emerging new field of Imageomics.  Teacher Prep Alumnus Ryan Herbert along with Lead Teacher Laurie Ruffenach and Dr. Jessica Monaghan will guide you through the learning process and data collection that will culminate with the presentation of your research, giving you a chance to apply this learning experience to enhance your own practice.

QUEST 2022 Machine Learning.pdf

2. Weather & Climate for teachers in grades K-8 in all content areas, June 27 - July 1, 2022, 9AM-3PM on campus

Weather impacts all of our lives and weather patterns seem to be changing. What is going on? Weather is produced by interactions of air, water, and land powered by energy from sunlight on the rotating Earth. Through a series of engaging hands-on experiments, educators will deepen their understanding of science concepts such as air pressure, temperature, seasons, the greenhouse effect, humidity, clouds, wind, and the Coriolis effect. Educators will investigate how different factors influence both typical weather and extreme weather (e.g. hurricanes, storms, etc.). They will explore causes, evidence, and effects of climate change.

This program will be facilitated by Steve Carson, Princeton Public Schools and formerly with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and Danielle Schmitt, Princeton University Department of Geosciences, along with Lead Teacher, Martha Friend, Princeton Public Schools. 

QUEST 2022 Weather & Climate.pdf

3. Climate Change: Exploring Solutions to a Complex Problem for teachers in grades 5-12, July 5 - 8, 2022, 9AM-3PM on campus

What is the role of human activity in the changing climate? How do we know if a proposed strategy or solution for minimizing CO2 in the atmosphere will be effective? Climate change is at the forefront of scientific and societal discourse, and its impacts on the planet are more evident each year. As educators we can empower the next generation to make informed choices when responding and adapting to the changing climate. In collaboration with Professor Laure Resplandy, who conducts research on the global carbon cycle and its influence on the Earth’s climate, STEM educators in grades 5-12 can take a deeper dive into the complexities of climate change during this four day QUEST unit. Participants will use climate models to deepen their understanding of climate change as well as assess and compare creative strategies to minimize climate change and global warming. They will collaborate with peers across the state for a hands-on and minds-on learning experience at Princeton University’s campus, including experiments to explore geoengineering solutions using plants to offset the CO2 increase in the atmosphere and solar radiation interaction with the Earth surface. Educators will have the opportunity to visit the supercomputer center used for climate research at Princeton University.  Throughout QUEST, educators will have the opportunity to work with cutting edge researchers in climate science and a lead teacher to reflect on their experience as learners and key “takeaways”. 

This program will be facilitated by Professor Laure Resplandy, Princeton University Department of Geosciences and High Meadows Environmental Institute; Steve Carson, Princeton Public Schools and formerly with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory; Danielle Schmitt, Princeton University Department of Geosciences; and Lead Teacher Kate Heavers, West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District. 

QUEST 2022 Climate Change.pdf

Register before 4/15/22 for a discounted rate. Fee schedule as follows: Early Bird $250; Full Rate $300. Space is limited and we may not be able to accept all applications. Registration is required no later than June 1st.

A small number of need-based Scholarships are available. Please apply for this opportunity if you are interested in attending and being an active participant at QUEST, but attendance would cause a financial burden.

Please contact  Dr. Jessica Monaghan with questions.

Thank you Professor Rubenstein and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Professor Laure Resplandy, the Department of Geosciences, High Meadows Environmental Institute, NSF Career Award and the Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System (CIMES) for their generous support of this year's QUEST!