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Many elementary teachers find teaching the science Standards of Learning (SOL) difficult [1, 2]. Some are even threatened by them. Of particular concern are the SOLs related to experimental design, handling data, and the scientific method. A possible reason for this discomfort is because many of these elementary teachers have had limited-to-no exposure to experimentation. As one of the activities included under a recent National Science Foundation Science Teachers Enhancement Project (STEP) grant awarded to Hampton University in conjunction with Virginia Union University and St. Paul's College, we included a teacher science fair competition. A special workbook/text was developed for this project and used to guide teachers through the research process; from observation, and hypothesis formation and testing through the evaluation of data and drawing conclusions from the experiment. Twenty-two teachers from the Richmond metropolitan area and King and Queen County developed individual projects (laboratory research), and prepared written reports and display boards to present their results. Projects were adjudicated by staff at the Science Museum of Virginia in a formal competition for teachers. Several teachers admitted that this was the first time that they had actually performed a full experiment. All participants agreed, at. the end, that they had a much better understanding of the process, and would be better able to teach it to their students. This successful activity is being submitted to the review panel as a reproducible model which affords preservice teachers an opportunity to strengthen their research skills. It can also make teachers feel more confident, and equip them to do a better job of teaching this block of SOLs.





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