In 1994, Porterville College responded to a need for elementary teacher training in the sciences. A Planning Grant was secured from the California Postsecondary Education Commission to study the feasibility of such an outreach program. Porterville College then teamed with Porterville High School and representatives of the Porterville Unified School District to plan the project and write an implementation grant. The project evolved to encompass the teaching of science to interested elementary school teachers, who in turn would use the equipment purchased by the grant on a rotating basis to teach the children in their classes. The full grant was secured for a four year period from 1995 through 1998, then extended for one additional fiscal year, 1998-99.
The Science, Mathematics And Resources Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) mobile science outreach project is still going strong today! Porterville College has joined with Porterville College Foundation and the Tulare County Office of Education to enlarge the scope of the outreach from just the Porterville College service area to all of Tulare County. The Porterville College S.M.A.R.T. Science Outreach Project is now formally housed within the Porterville College Foundation. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and accepts charitable donations from organizations and individuals on behalf of the S.M.A.R.T. Science Outreach Project.
In 1998 the League for Innovation awarded the S.M.A.R.T Lab and it's developers the "Innovator Of The Year" Award. Dr. David Scott, Consultant and League for Innovation Representative, and Ms. Linda Prentiss, Director of Development and Community Education, Porterville College presented the League Of Innovation "Innovation Of The Year" Award to Mr. David Wright, Mathematics/Science Chair, Porterville College, and Mr. Jeff Cozad, Science Department Chair, Porterville High School, for Science/Math and Resource Technology (S.M.A.R.T) Mobile Science Lab for Outreach Services.
Today, elementary school teachers from first through eighth grades can obtain training in any of the three areas of science; Life, Earth, and Physical. Training is provided at Porterville College on a rotating module basis or on the elementary school site as arranged by the site administrator. After completion of a four hour training session, teachers have the option of adding their classes to the S.M.A.R.T. Lab calendar for that module. The SMART Lab fee is a modest $125 per day. Many schools routinely add the SMART Lab to their annual site budget.
The former California Frameworks was the basis of the original grant curriculum and relied heavily on AIMS materials. Currently, the New Science Standards have been reviewed and a matrix was devised to guide teachers through teaching requirements using the S.M.A.R.T. Lab. For a complete outline of modules, the science standard section reference matrix, and other relevant information, please continue through this web page.
For information on any matter relating to the S.M.A.R.T. Science Outreach Program, please contact the project directly at 559.361.2070 or 559.791.2319.
August 8, 2014