MAst cohorts gather for PD workshop

The 22 teachers in the photo represent LPS, OPS and many other school districts in Nebraska. One teacher is teaching in Colorado. A few are still preservice teachers who just finished their student teaching in LPS.

MAst cohorts gather for PD workshop

20 May 2016    

Nebraska teachers who have graduated from the Master of Arts with an emphasis in science teaching (MAst) program in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education gathered for a reunion of sorts last weekend in Henzlik Hall. They spent Saturday, May 14 in a professional development day to address their teaching needs.

“The MAst teacher alumni enjoyed seeing former classmates and sharing their emerging expertise in teaching science with each other,” said Beth Lewis, associate professor and MAst program coordinator. “They appreciated learning some ways to revise and enhance their curriculum and are looking forward to applying some new ideas to their teaching.”

The teachers came from Lincoln Public Schools (LPS), Omaha Public Schools and many other districts in Nebraska. One even came from a district in Colorado. A few MAst program students who recently completed their student teaching in LPS joined them.

The MAst graduates attended sessions on using technology in their science classrooms, how to provide students with feedback on their work, how to work effectively with special education co-teachers and how to organize field trips and apply for grants.  There was also a discipline-based lesson sharing session in which teachers recommended effective science activities to each other. According to Lewis, the science teachers also benefited from networking with each other before, during, and after the individual professional development sessions.

Lewis said the majority of teachers participating were supported by a National Science Foundation Noyce grant stipend during their MAst program (from 2011-2016) and most are teaching in high-needs school districts.

The planning committee was composed of Lewis and one person from each of the five MAst cohorts: Nathan Van Meter, Cohort 1, Louisville Public Schools; Kristoff Berzins, Cohort 2, Omaha Public Schools; Kay Burbach, Cohort 3, Lincoln Public Schools; Ethan Van Winkle, Cohort 4, Lincoln Public Schools; and Blair Kalinski, Cohort 5, UNL graduate student. The planning committee also generated the topics for the workshop sessions.

For more information on the MAst program, please visit

College of Education and Human Sciences
Teaching, Learning & Teacher Education