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What is the MSST program?

The Master of Science in Science for Teachers (MSST) is a graduate degree in science developed specifically for teachers. The MSST program provides a unique opportunity to conduct scientific research with world-renowned UW faculty and research professionals as a mechanism to strengthen and broaden content knowledge and scientific skill sets. This degree is designed to:

  • Move science teachers through the skills that are fundamental to today’s scientific practice – experimental design, data manipulation, data visualization, and science communication
  • Create a flexible and personally-tailored elective set within your discipline of choice
  • Culminate in the design and implementation of an individualized and independent scientific research project

The flexible course structure is especially designed to fit the needs of K-12 teachers. Course work can be taken throughout the UW, and faculty research mentors range across Colleges of the Environment, Arts and Sciences, Public Health, and Medicine.

Why enroll in the MSST program?

  • Strengthen and broaden your disciplinary content knowledge
  • Gain additional hands-on scientific skill sets
  • Design and implement your own research project
  • Equip yourself to lead in the practice of the Next Generation Science Standards

Science is moving at ever-increasing speeds, with new breakthroughs, innovations and technologies. Keeping pace requires science educators to engage in hands-on, high-level, real-life science. The MSST program has three core components, practicing science through an independently-designed research project, deepened disciplinary content knowledge, and the development of an interdisciplinary skill set. These components work together to give teachers the opportunity to experience directly how the three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards

  • cross-cutting concepts
  • science and engineering practices
  • core disciplinary ideas

are integrated and realized in cutting-edge contemporary science.

Degree requirements include:

  • 36  credits in total
  • 18 credits must be 500 level and above
  • Minimum 18 graded credits (400 and above, 2.7 min)
  • GPA minimum 3.0
  • Core courses based on shared skill sets, with a secondary focus on developing student cohorts (see below for course descriptions):
    • SCI T 501 Observational Science and Experimental Design for Teachers (2 credits),
    • SCI T 502 Data Analysis and Visualization for Teachers (2 credits)
    • SCI T 503 Science Communications for Teachers (2 credits)
    • SCI T 600 9-10 credits of research to produce a non-thesis research project, a final oral presentation to supervisory committee and peers, and a presentation to a non-academic audience.
  • 5 credit statistics course, 300/400/500 level
  • An elective pathway that the scholar and Program Coordinator develop based on the disciplinary needs of the scholar.

Core Course 1:

SCI T 501: Observational Science and Experimental Design for Teachers (2 credits, Autumn year 1)

Focuses on the scientific method, emphasizing the development of testable hypotheses, experimental design, and data collection.

This course is for students interested in improving their familiarity and experience with the nature and practices of science.  Students will consider the nature of scientific exploration, practice using observations, evidence and explanation to make hypotheses, and explore case studies demonstrating various experimental designs. This course combines on-line activities, readings, hands-on activities, presentations, and discussions. This course is required for all students entering the MSST program.

Core course 2:

SCI T 502: Data Analysis and Visualization for Teachers (2 credits, Winter year 2)

Examines different kinds of scientific data, tools used to work with and interpret scientific data, and techniques for visualizing scientific data.

This course is for students interested in improving their familiarity and experience with different kinds of scientific data, tools used to work with and interpret scientific data, and techniques for visualizing scientific data.  Students will gain experience manipulating and visualizing multiple types of data sets, evaluate case-studies illustrating various data visualization techniques, evaluate the appropriate use of common graphing/visualization tools for different types of data sets, and create graphs of their own data set along with an explanation of why the chosen graph is appropriate for the data.  This course combines on-line activities, readings, hands-on activities, presentations, and discussions.  This course is required for all students in the MSST program.

Core course 3:

SCI T 503: Science Communication for Teachers (2 credits, Spring year 2)

Explores effective communication of scientific research.  Students practice communicating their own research to mentors and peers, and receive mentoring on how to improve their presentations.  Culminating experience is a formal presentation of the students own scientific research.

This course is for students interested in examining effective communication of scientific research.  Students will critically evaluate example presentations to both scientific and lay audiences, practice communicating their own scientific research to mentors and peers, and receive mentoring on how to improve their presentations. The culminating experience will be two formal presentations on students’ research topics, one designed for a scientific audience and one designed for a lay audience, and a short paper describing the different strategies employed for each audience.  This is a required course for students enrolled in the MSST program.

Sample Pathways for Elective Courses

When would I participate in MSST?

Core courses are offered to accommodate program completion within 2 years, with the first course taken Autumn quarter of the first year, and the second and third core courses taken Winter and Spring quarters of the second year.

Autumn quarter begins on September 24, 2014.

MSST is intended to be completed in two years and may be compatible with part-time work or teaching. Students may take additional time to complete their degree if needed.

Apply

We’re currently accepting applications for the 2014-2015 academic year!

The deadline to apply for Fall 2014 is 1 September 2014.

Please click here for application information.

Questions? Please contact the Program Coordinator, Dr. Tansy Clay Burns at (206)221-6747 or uwmmst@uw.edu.

Contact Us

The MSST program is located on the UW campus in the Ocean Sciences Building (OSB), room 506.

Note:

The Master of Science in Science for Teachers does not lead to teacher certification.
For information on teacher certification at the University of Washington, visit or contact the College of Education. edinfo@u.washington.edu