STEP Professional Development Program for Teachers

Science & Technology Enrichment Program for Students

Director: Dr. Stephen Thompson

Dr. Stephen Thompson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina. He earned his Ph.D. in Education and Human Development from Vanderbilt University in 2002. At USC, he teaches elementary science methods and general education methods courses for graduate and undergraduate students. He also teaches and supervises science education doctoral students. Dr. Thompson’s research interests center on improving elementary and middle level science education, especially in high-need communities, through reform-based teaching strategies. His current research projects include a large-scale examination of science teachers’ conceptions of inter-related plant processes and an examination of scaffolding mechanisms that support enhanced science teaching. He has received over 10 million dollars in grant funds to develop elementary and middle school inquiry professional development workshops, support scientist and engineer collaborations in K-12 settings, and create teacher certification pathways for citizens living in high-need communities. Currently, he is a lead investigator on a 3-year SC Mathematics and Science Partnership grant providing inquiry-based professional development to middle school science teachers throughout the state.

 Email: sthompson@sc.edu

Phone: (803) 777-6820

Thompson_Brief_CV_and_Bio

ChristneLotter

Co- Director: Dr. Christine Lotter

Dr. Christine Lotter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University in 2005. At USC, she teaches high school science methods and general education methods courses for graduate and undergraduate students. She also teaches and supervises science education doctoral students. Dr. Lotter’s research interests revolve around the issue of improving secondary teacher education through reform-based teaching strategies. She is specifically interested in teachers’ use of inquiry teaching techniques and how their beliefs interact with their practice. She has received over 3.6 million dollars in grant funds to develop high school and middle school inquiry professional development workshops and for scholarship funds from the National Science Foundation for USC’s MT and MAT certification programs. Currently, she is a co-investigator on a 3-year SC Mathematics and Science Partnership grant providing inquiry-based professional development to middle school science teachers throughout the state.

Email: lotter@mailbox.sc.edu

Phone: (803) 777-6593

Lotter_Brief_CV_and_Bio