The Technology Enhanced Elementary and Middle School Science project (TEEMSS) was funded by the National Science Foundation to bring the power of information and communication technology to science education in grades 3-8 by creating and disseminating valuable, proven, and easily implemented technology-based science learning materials and associated teacher professional development.
"From the earliest grades, students should experience science in a form that engages them in the active construction of ideas and explanations that enhance their opportunities to develop the abilities of doing science.-
— National Science Education Standards
The core of science is about investigating, exploring, asking questions, analyzing, and thinking - activities that computers, sensors, handhelds, models, and electronic networking are uniquely able to facilitate and deepen. Such technology facilitates inquiry in four ways that are largely lacking in elementary science teaching:
With TEEMSS activities, students investigate the natural world analytically; understand cause-and-effect relationships; visualize change; gain insights into the ways systems act; connect math, science, and technology; and explore emergent behavior.
TEEMSS has produced 15 units aligned to the National Science Education Standards (NSES) that take full advantage of computers, sensors, and interactive models. Five units are available for each grade level (3-4, 5-6, and 7-8), and target NSES standards for Inquiry, Physical Science, Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Technology and Engineering. Each unit contains two investigations, each with a discovery question, several trials, analysis, and further investigations.
Technology is an essential part of modern science, but it is rarely used in elementary and middle school science education. Until now, teaching with sensors had been awkward and impractical due to the diversity of platforms, sensors, and software packages that are available within a school building.
Our software is designed to work with whatever curriculum, computers, handhelds, and sensors schools have. The TEEMSS software runs on Linux, Windows, Macintosh, PocketPC, and Palm operating systems. It works with sensors from six of the major vendors:
Sensors include temperature, light, motion, force, pressure, voltage, and relative humidity.
The software also contains a sound wave analysis tool that uses the computer's microphone.
Our unified student work environment means that everything the student needs to do an investigation and create a complete electronic portfolio is all in one application. The TEEMSS SensorPortfolio software allows students to read an investigation, answer questions, collect data, analyze results, and save work — all in one place. Each portfolio includes formative and summative assessment data, readily available to the teacher through online teacher reports.
TEEMSS also makes use of a computer-based modeling environment so that students can study phenomena that are difficult or impractical to study in a lab.
Each activity has a teacher-s guide that includes a discussion guide, background about the content, assessment ideas, technology information, and a suggested timeline. A web-based teacher reporting tool allows a teacher to review student portfolios and gather student responses for assessment and class discussion.
All software and materials are available free of charge through the TEEMSS portal. Materials are available to download (for handheld or computer), on the Web (for viewing only), or as PDF versions (for printing).
Contact us at the Concord Consortium:
Tel: (978) 405-3200
Fax: (978) 405-2076
Mail: 25 Love Lane, Concord, MA 01742