Caddo & Bossier Parish teachers gain hands-on experience at experimental design workshop

SHREVEPORT, La., June 10, 2008 – Fifteen Caddo and Bossier Parish teachers, representing 11 elementary, middle and high schools in three communities in Northwest Louisiana, discovered practical strategies for science classrooms and competitions, and toured a lignite mine during the “Experimental Design: An Introductory Course in Scientific Inquiry Workshop” sponsored by AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) June 2-4 in Shreveport. 
The workshop is designed to help teachers find practical strategies for conducting experimental research, authentic assessment and working with parents.  Instructor for the course was Ronald N. Giese, Ed.D., professor emeritus of science education at The College of William and Mary and co-author of the book “Students and Research,” upon which the workshop was based.   

The workshop makes it easier for teachers to help students develop the skills they need to successfully conduct, analyze and report an experiment.

Educators attending were: Vicki Bell, Elizabeth Brozic, Tunnisia Coleman, Brandi Dye, Bea Gaulden, Tara John, Angelia Key, Racheal Knudson, Karen Lawless, Linnie Lee, Kimberly McHenry, Helen Odita, Jacqueline Simmons, William Sliman and Deanna Wagner.
Participants attended sessions on topics such as developing and applying the basic concepts of experimental research, generating experimental ideas, describing experimental procedures, utilizing library resources, analyzing data and encouraging parental support.

Workshop participants also toured SWEPCO’s Dolet Hills Lignite Company mine near Mansfield, La. The mine produces lignite used as fuel for the nearby Dolet Hills Power Plant.

Angelia Key, second grade teacher at Atkins Elementary School in Shreveport, said the workshop underscores the value of students improving their inquiry skills. “The workshop’s hands-on approach and reinforcement techniques gave me a better understanding of how students need to be taught to retain important information as well as become critical thinkers in our society.”

SWEPCO is a unit of American Electric Power and serves 467,000 customers in three states, including 177,000 in NW Louisiana.  News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at www.swepco.com.

Corporate Communications
Scott McCloud, 318-673-3532