Our professional development program will reconvene August 28 at Mill Mountain Zoo. Our final meeting is September 16, 2014.

The summer program of the Elementary Science Institute for Teachers (HESIT) was held June 16-27. We are focusing this year on pK-3 science SOLs and inquiry pedigogy. We are supported by Hollins University and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) through a federal NCLB Improving Teacher Quality grant.

ten partnering public school divisions are Roanoke, Salem, and Martinsville cities, and Roanoke, Botetourt, Floyd, Franklin, Montgomery, Henry, and Craig counties. Private school teachers also participate.

Participants receive texts, teaching supplies and materials, stipends of $100/day ($1,100 total), and up to 80 continuing education points, or, as an option, 3 semester hours transferable graduate credit at 40% reduced tuition for EDUC550 Special Topics in Education: Science in the Elementary Classroom.





  •  Science SOLs for Grades K to 3 SOLs
  •  new Science SOLs for Grades K to 3 in map form pdf

    • Modified Teachers' Pedagogical Philosophy Interview pdf Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument pdf
       V-NOS-C pdf

  • 2014 schedule

  •  LINKS to relevant websites
  • NEW PHOTOS of 2014 Program activities


The Institute program includes presentations to illuminate content, workshop-type hands-on activities and investigations on field trips. Institute sessions will be provided by Hollins University faculty and by educators and scientists from the Blue Ridge Soil and Conservation District, Mill Mountain Zoo, the Science Museum of Western Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Transportation, and the Virginia Museum of Natural History


Books by Dr. Bentley: Connecting Children to Nature (2014), Teaching Constructivist Science K-8  (2007), and The Educator's Field Guide (2011).


Institute leadership:

Michael L. Bentley, EdD, Director
Renee Godard, PhD, Co-Director, Life Science
Dan Derringer,
PhD, Physical Science
Dennis Casey, PhD, Earth & Space Science
Teresa Auldridge, National FOSS Consultant, Integrating Curriculum through Investigations

Program Overview

Institute themes include active learning strategies and inquiry teaching, differentiating instruction, using the outdoors and community resources, integrating curriculum, and teaching about the nature of science.

Project activities will give participants opportunities todevelop both instructional strategies and skills and "pedagogical content knowledge" related to implementing inquiry and differentiated instruction in the classroom. Together we will explore hands-on teaching and some of the many resources for teaching science in Southwestern Virginia.

Our content focus is on K-3 science as specified in the 2010 Virginia Standards of  Learning. This content includes the nature of science, inquiry processes, and key concepts in physical, earth-space, and life science.

    Elementary Science Institute for Teachers
                                         Department of Biology, P.O. Box 9615
                                             Hollins University, Roanoke, VA 24020
                                                T: 540-362-6457    Fax: 540-362-6629