Nebraska Math & Science Summer Institutes 2021

2021 Course Catalog

Please note that our courses are marked as either Online (Synchronous) or Online (Asynchronous). For these purposes, synchronous means online meetings with the instructor and the whole class at once (on at least part of the dates listed), and asynchronous means working at your pace, like a typical online course that UNL offers.

Courses such as TEAC 800, TEAC 801 and TEAC 813M are also options for teachers this summer, but these courses do not qualify for the 20% tuition discount or additional NMSSI Fellowships.


NMSSI Course Catalog Filters
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NMSSI Courses for Science Teachers

ASTR 898 - Phenomena of Planetary Satellites

Audience: K123456789101112
Credit Hours: 3

Location and Dates:
Online (Synchronous): June 21-25 and June 28-July 2, 10am-noon and 1-3 pm – Email Kelcey Gabriel for a permission code.
This is a professional development course aimed at middle school and high school teachers. It will survey phenomena related to moons in our solar system. Although Earth’s moon will receive the largest focus, we will also explore the moons of other planets in our solar system. The phenomena to be explored include phases; eclipses; tides and tidal heating; orbital dynamic processes such as circularization of an orbit and synchronous rotation; and resonance with other objects. We will also explore sufficient planetary geology to discuss interesting characteristics of the moons. Special attention will be given to the 2017 eclipse and what was learned related to instructional pedagogy as well as informal science. We will use the lessons learned to plan similar efforts related to the upcoming eclipse of April 2024. Although the focus of the course is on science content, we will make use of multiple interactive pedagogies commonly used in college courses and explore and discuss the underlying motivations, requirements, strengths, and weaknesses of each. The pedagogies include computer simulation usage; desktop planetarium usage; peer instruction; lecture tutorials; and ranking, sorting, and matching tasks.
Email Kelcey Gabriel for a permission code.

BIOS 897 - Special Topics: Evolution in Action

Audience: K123456789101112
Credit Hours: 3

Location and Dates:
Online (Synchronous): July 5-9 and July 12-16, 1pm-5pm (Zoom, with breaks)
This graduate course for science teachers will review major evolutionary principles, investigate the importance of the Nature of Science in the teaching and learning of evolutionary biology, and help teachers build a framework for developing an inquiry-based approach to teaching evolutionary biology.

GEOS 898 - Weather, Climate and Climate Change

Audience: K123456789101112
Credit Hours: 3

Location and Dates:
Online (Synchronous): June 21-25 and June 28-July 2, 1:30-3:30pm (Zoom)
This course will cover the scientific principles that govern our planet's weather and climate, and will demonstrate ways to teach these concepts to students using experiments and observations. Participants will leave the course with the confidence, knowledge and resources to teach their students about weather, climate, and climate change.

SOCI 898 - Using Systems Thinking in Network Science

Audience: K123456789101112
Credit Hours: 3

Location and Dates:
Online (Synchronous): June 7-11 and June 14-18, 8am-noon (Zoom, with breaks)
This course is open to any teachers of math, science or computer science, with the primary audience of middle level teachers. Full tuition fellowships will be available from the Worlds of Connections grant. This course is intended for STEM teachers and will apply concepts of network science to systems and system models; explore activities designed to help students understand systems, systems models, and how network science concepts can reveal how systems operate; understand modeling situations and careers that intersect with network science; understand key concepts and terms related to systems and system models; apply concepts of systems and system models to teacher professional networks, student networks, and how network connections impact teacher and student learning and risk-taking; and explore developmentally appropriate phenomena with wide relevance to secondary students for applying systems and systems models.

TEAC 893 - Engineering in the K-6 Classroom

Audience: K123456789101112
Credit Hours: 3

Location and Dates:
Lincoln: June 1-4 and June 7-11, 8am-noon
This course will provide opportunities to experience and explore ways in which engineering, the Engineering Design Process, and Engineering Habits of Mind, can be used to teach both engineering-specific concepts and concepts common to multiple STEM disciplines in the elementary classroom. Participants will learn to identify appropriate curriculum, instructional methods, and assessment strategies. Through hands-on explorations, readings about theory and practice, guided discussion, and collaborative presentations, participants will learn strategies behind the teaching of elementary-based engineering. Participants will also be introduced to numerous resources that can be directly used in their classrooms.