May 25, 2005

Sandia, APS, UNM collaborate to meet No Child Left Behind requirement

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Teachers from middle and elementary schools in Albuquerque and other parts of New Mexico will have the opportunity to build their science teaching skills this summer in an effort to meet the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirement for “highly qualified” teachers. They will be taking university-level courses in biology, astronomy, geology and chemistry being offered free through a collaborative effort between Sandia National Laboratories, the University of New Mexico (UNM), and Albuquerque Public Schools (APS).

The three organizations are joining forces to form the Science Education Institute of the Southwest (SEIS) to advance science education and learning. SEIS’s primary efforts are aimed at supporting the teaching of science in middle school. It will also offer a course on the integration of literacy and science for elementary teachers.

“We believe this is a wonderful opportunity for middle school teachers to earn the credit they need to meet the requirements that they be ‘highly qualified’ under the federal NCLB legislation,” said APS Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Everitt. “We appreciate the assistance of our partners at Sandia, Lockheed Martin, and the University of New Mexico in making this possible,” she added.

Michael DeWitte, group manager of Public Relations and Communications at Sandia, added, “We are delighted to continue our professional development focus and support for teachers and the partnership with UNM and APS. Effective partnerships are essential for the continuous improvement of our educational system and student achievement.”

The courses will be offered through the UNM College of Arts and Sciences and will carry three credit hours each. Tuition and course materials are offered at no cost to teachers due to support from Sandia and Lockheed Martin. Enrollment is limited to 20 teachers for each course.

Four one-week classes are planned for this summer for middle school teachers. They are: “Natural History of New Mexico,” taught by Ursula Shepherd of the UNM Department of Biology; “The Physics of Sound, Motion and Energy in the Classroom,” taught by Kathy Dimiduk of the UNM Department of Physics and Astronomy; “Classroom and Field-based Investigation of River Systems: The Jemez River and Beyond,” taught by Matt Nyman and Amy Ellwein of the UNM Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences; and “The Periodic Table of Elements: All You Need to Know About Chemistry,” taught by May Nyman of the UNM Department of Chemistry.

Matt Nyman and Kathy Jones from APS will teach a class for elementary teachers on integrating science and literacy.

SEIS is a collaborative effort spearheaded by individuals from APS, UNM, and Sandia with support from Lockheed Martin. SEIS’s mission is to advance the quality of the teaching and learning of science. The institute plans to focus much of its work on professional development for the classroom teacher.

For more information contact Doug Earik at 266-2070.

Top of Page

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Sandia media contact: Chris Burroughs,, (505) 844-0948