School navigation

Continuing Education

Middle School Science Institute

Date: 8:00am PDT July 28, 2014 Location: York Graduate Center, Room 107, Graduate Campus

  • Event Image
    Joe Minato, M.T.E.

York Graduate Center, Room 107, Graduate Campus

Middle School science teachers have an extremely wonderful, but daunting task set before them. There are at least five unique challenges they face.

  1. Middle school science teachers often teach all fields of science from anatomy to astronomy, from physics to zoology. Science is a dynamic, rapidly changing field. It is hard to keep up in a single topic, much less across the spectrum of science. Even the most enthusiastic, best-trained middle school science teacher is often lacking in background and skills.
  2. Middle school is perhaps the age where hands-on, inquiry-based explorations are most important. Yet, middle schools often have the fewest and least useful supplies and work spaces.
  3. Middle Schoolers are a unique breed. Part wide-eyed, eager investigator and part jaded, cynical “this is dumb, I saw something really cool on Mythbusters.” The middle school science teacher needs to challenge, dazzle, and inspire a generation that has seen it all on a little screen. They need to make it real.
  4. Safety is a paramount. In elementary school we just don’t do anything that could be at all dangerous. At high school the teachers have special equipment, spaces, and training to be safe. The middle school science teacher has to make it big and keep it safe.
  5. The standards just changed again. Yes, indeed, the Next Generation Science Standards are here. Reading, understanding, unpacking, and making the standards come alive in the classroom will be an enormous challenge in one scientific discipline, much less all of them.

In this weeklong institute, all five of these challenges will be addressed within the context of hands-on science lessons in engineering, physics and physical science, astronomy and earth science, biology, and science, technology, and society.

Each day we will model and practice at least three captivating experiments that every teacher can do. With a few extra thrown in on Friday, teachers will leave with 18 great experiments, one for every two weeks of the school year.

Course Details & Registration

Dates: Monday-Friday, July 28-August 1, 2014

Time: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Instructor: Joseph Minato, M.T.E.

Materials fee: $100, payable to the instructor on the first day of class

Continuing education credit: CEED 866, 3 semester hours, $1,050

Continuing education credit registration form (PDF)

Noncredit: $750, includes 45 CEUs or PDUs

Register now

Need a place to stay?

We are pleased to offer workshop participants discounted rates at two nearby hotels. 

Crowne Plaza Hotel, 14811 Kruse Oaks Drive, Lake Oswego. 503-624-8400. $84 per night. 

Lakeshore Inn, 210 N State Street, Lake Oswego. 503-636-9679. $89-125 per night. 

To receive the reduced rate mention that you are in town attending a workshop at Lewis & Clark College when booking your stay.

About the Instructor

Joseph Minato, M.T.E. is a science teacher with a B.S. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.T.E. in science education. He presently teaches at Lincoln High School and in the M.A.T. program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. He is a recipient of the prestigious Polaroid Award for Outstanding Teaching at MIT.

While classically trained in physics and math, Joe is a lifelong natural historian with a broad background and endless enthusiasm for exploring the wonders of the natural world from subatomic physics to cosmology, from molecular genetics to frog metamorphosis.

Joe has taught in a wide variety of settings, urban and rural, public and private, and to a wide variety of students, gifted scholars to troubled youth, small children to veteran educators. His favorite students are whomever he is teaching right now. His favorite lesson is whatever lesson he is doing right now.

  • New events are added to our calendar regularly. For the latest on events related to your specific interests, sign up to receive periodic updates by email and/or mail.



45.445733; -122.671119