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SES's Sam Northern

Simpson Elementary's Library Media Specialist Sam Northern has been selected to participate in three teacher fellowship programs. This is an exciting opportunity not only for Sam but for the children at Simpson Elementary who will experience and learn from his travels.

  • May 28-June 8, I will be working at sea with world-renowned National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists as a NOAA Teacher at Sea. I will be embarking from and returning to the Newport Naval Station in Newport, Rhode Island. We will be collecting Zooplankton and ichthyoplankton at a maximum depth of 200 meters using paired 61-cm Bongo samplers equipped with 333 micron mesh nets. As a NOAA Teacher at Sea, I will fulfill several program requirements prior to, during, and after the cruise. Major requirements include:
    • Submitting 3 to 4 blog posts per week while at sea.
    • Creating and submitting one lesson plan that addresses the science and research that was being conducted on the mission.
    • Creating and submitting one classroom activity that addresses ocean careers.
    • Delivering a presentation about my mission at an educators' conference or for colleagues.


  • June 20-24, I will be participating in a four-day, residential professional development program at George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Virginia. I will be attending The George Washington Teacher Institute’s, Slavery in George Washington’s Worldprogram, which includes an intensive study led by noted public historian Richard Josey of the Minnesota Historical Society and Dr. Kathryn Silva from Claflin University. I will collaborate with Mount Vernon’s knowledgeable historians, curators, and educators while on site. In addition to studying the context of slavery in the 18th century and Mount Vernon’s enslaved population, I will learn about Washington’s ideas about slavery. Other participants and I will use primary historical sources and archaeological evidence to explore ways to broaden students’ understanding of slavery and the challenges of teaching slavery and race in today’s classroom. While at the Institute, I will live on George Washington’s estate, within view of his mansion, and attend daily sessions in the 45,000-square foot Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington. After the program, I will develop and conduct a professional development workshop for my education community in order to share information from the Institute.
    • The George Washington Teacher Institute, founded in 1999, provides K-12 educators with professional development opportunities throughout the year through residential, online, and regional programming, as well as Teacher Fellowships. For more information about the George Washington Teacher Institute, please visit www.MountVernon.org/Teachers


  • July 10-28, I will be participating in a three-week National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar for School Teachers located at Carroll College in Helena, Montana and Yellowstone National Park. The NEH Summer Seminar titled,Reenchanting Nature: Humanities Perspectives, is an examination of our relationship to nature amidst the beauty of the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone. The program will draw upon religious, cultural, literary, fine arts, and cinematic perspectives to explore and evaluate the role of the humanities. I will uncover new avenues for thinking about our place in nature and new approaches for engaging the humanities in the classroom. The daily format for the seminar employs morning presentations and discussions, afternoon activities, and regular sharing of work. This structure will engage participants in a range of group and individual learning experiences. There will be ample opportunity for critical inquiry, reflection, and the development and sharing of lesson plans and ideas for the classroom. Each day’s curriculum will revolve around a new primary source, accompanying critical scholarship, and a presentation and discussion led by one of the project co-directors or a featured scholar. 

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