Media advisory: Summer school — for science teachers

Two women wearing goggles while working in a lab.

Buffalo Public Schools teacher Kathleen Marren, right, worked with UB PhD candidate Meghan Kern at UB last summer as part of the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership.

Local scientists will welcome dozens of K-12 teachers into their labs this summer as part of a program to improve science education in Buffalo schools

Release Date: July 16, 2013 This content is archived.

The goal is to give teachers a taste of what’s happening in real-world labs today, so they can pass along the latest scientific knowledge and methods to K-12 students.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Analyzing the bacteria in lake water. Testing water filters made from an exciting, new material. Building an earthquake simulation table.

These activities are part of a program that will bring about 60 middle and high school teachers from the Buffalo Public Schools to local laboratories this summer to work with scientists on fun and innovative projects.

The goal is to give teachers a taste of what’s happening in real-world labs today, so that they can pass along the latest scientific knowledge and methods to K-12 students.

Through the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP), a $10 million program to improve science education in Buffalo Public Schools, the teachers are heading to the University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Life Technologies and Praxair in July to complete projects such as:

  • Identifying bacteria present in lake water by analyzing their DNA
  • Testing filters made from a remarkable material called graphene to see if they can remove heavy metals like chromium from water
  • Designing and building an earthquake simulation table that can be used in classrooms to demonstrate how structures and soils respond to quakes
  • Building science kits to use for in-class instruction during the school year

Media are invited to check out the projects in action from now through the end of July, and in early August.

To make arrangements, contact Charlotte Hsu in the Office of University Communications at 716-645-4655 or

The summer work is just one part of ISEP, a year-round program coordinated by UB Professor of Chemistry Joseph A. Gardella Jr., PhD.

The summer activities will include research and curriculum development. A dozen ISEP teachers will also take a summer course at Buffalo State that focuses on physics, technology education and learner-centered teaching techniques that present scientific information to K-12 classes in exciting ways.

ISEP looks to fill classrooms in Buffalo with the kind of hands-on and investigative activities that make science exciting. With help from the program, teachers at 12 middle and high schools in the district have given students unique opportunities, such as the chance to design and test miniature racecars and build websites using HTML and JavaScript.

Many of the scientists who work with the teachers over summer will continue to support the teachers during the school year, sharing expertise as the teachers develop curriculum, or, in the case of graduate students, providing hands-on help in the classroom.

ISEP connects teachers with researchers in the UB 2020 Strategic Strengths — eight areas of interdisciplinary scholarship that make up the core of UB’s academic activity — and injects state-of-the-art content from these strengths into middle and high school classrooms.

ISEP is led by UB, Buffalo Public Schools, the Buffalo Museum of Science and Buffalo State. For information, visit or contact Karen King, PhD, at

Media Contact Information

Charlotte Hsu is a former staff writer in University Communications. To contact UB's media relations staff, email or visit our list of current university media contacts.