The Summer Institute is an annual highlight of the Kenan Fellows Program. During June and July, Fellows worked side-by-side with their project mentors, learning about their work and research, and laying the groundwork for curriculum projects that will ultimately give students a window into a wide array of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related fields.
The teachers spent two intense Summer Institute weeks in Raleigh. Through presentations, discussions, hands-on activities and visits to museums, research facilities and global corporations they gained insights into the range of opportunities available to today’s graduates and what they must know to take advantage of them.
Fellows visited RTP‘s MCNC to view new technologies being developed for education. A tour of MeadWestvaco‘s Center for Innovation on Centennial Campus provided a first-hand look at the climate and culture of a global organization and the skills that companies like these look for in their employees. Fellows experienced what students are being taught in the nation’s largest biotechnology training center when they toured the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center at NC State University and suited up in lab coats to manufacture insulin.
Media consultant and former TV news reporter Renee McCoy helped hone communication skills and strengthen the critical voice that teachers bring to discussions of education practice and policy. Dr. Joe Peel and Fran Riddick, from the Triangle Leadership Academy worked with teachers to refine lesson design skills for students in the digital age.
School vacations typically allow teachers to reflect on their practice and prepare for the coming year. For Kenan Fellows, the Summer Institute gives these exceptional educators a forum where the status quo can be challenged, and new ways of thinking and creative solutions are encouraged. Here are a few examples of the impact the Summer Institute had on some Fellows:
"I came away with so much information to sort through, and all of it very good and relevant to my position as a leader at my school."
"I was so nervous to be interviewed on video tape by Renee McCoy, but that experience ended up being a wonderful opportunity."
"I have reflected on how much richer I feel having met all of you. Our blend of personalities, interests, and expertise is unique and very deep."
Photos from the Summer Institute are available on the Kenan Fellows web site.