The ORTIS Project

The Online Resource Through Integrated STEM (ORTIS) project is a collaboration between Quinnipiac and Connecticut K-12 school districts (currently Hamden, New Haven, North Haven, West Haven, Meriden, Wallingford, Ridgefield and Wesport) to develop online science curricula units for middle and high schools based on an engineering design process.

The objectives of the project are to:

  • Develop middle and high school science teachers' content knowledge and instructional skills regarding:
    • (a) the National Research Council's Framework for K-12 Science Education;
    • (b) essential learning outcomes for students through discipline specific teaching and learning;
    • (c) engineering education strands; and
    • (d) the use of an engineering design process applicable to K-12 education through its implementation as a method to develop new science curricula units.
  • Create new curricula units for K-12 science based on the National Research Council's Framework and make those units available online to all members of the collaboration.
  • Share the curricula development model with other STEM education and partnerships in order to grow the online resource beyond the scope of the initial ORTIS project development.

The project is designed to ensure that the units developed are based on best practice STEM teaching and learning activities, which will be piloted in participants' classrooms. Ultimately, the project is specifically designed to directly impact the classroom teaching and learning experience.

Teacher Professional Development
Teacher participants of the ORTIS project become part of a curriculum unit development team. Each team will include one Quinnipiac STEM faculty and four other middle or high school science teachers from each of the five districts involved in the collaboration. As part of this team, each teacher will:

  • Develop their discipline specific knowledge, understanding and skills
  • Develop their experience of K-12 engineering education strands through use of an Engineering Design Process (EDP)
  • Expand their experience and use of STEM best practice models of teaching and learning

Teacher Participant Expectations

  • Orientation Day: An all-day event held in May
  • Summer Session: A one-week summer institute held in July
  • Capstone and Exposition Day: An all-day event held in October
  • After summer follow-up: One hour online meetings each month held between Aug. and May on the academic year following the summer institute

Stipend payments are available for teacher participants of the project for the summer sessions and follow up meetings.

School districts interested in partnering with the project need to be prepared to offer release time to teacher participants for the Orientation Day in May and the Capstone/Exposition Day in Oct. 

Current teacher participants can create an account or log in by visiting the online resource page

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