BPS TEAM Science

click here to visit the Buffalo Public Schools Science Department


Science Kit requests from the Inquiry Materials Center


Replacement Materials Request Form (pdf)


(Download MS Word version) Replacement Materials Request Form


Links to take-home activities, kit extensions, and packing lists:


Firsthand Learning works in partnership with the Buffalo (NY) Public Schools to provide teachers with professional development opportunities in science and related hands-on materials.

This long-standing and on-going relationship began in 1991 with the TEAM project (Teacher Education at the Museum): a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support a program of intensive teacher professional development in science for 150 PreK-6 teachers in the Buffalo Public Schools. Each of these teachers attended two four-week summer institutes and sixteen Saturday workshops during the five-year life of the project, totaling approximately 300 hours of professional development. They received intensive exposure to NSF-funded hands-on science kits in the life, earth, and physical sciences, they each were apprenticed to a museum curator for field and laboratory experiences in a natural history field of their choice (botany, vertebrate zoology, entomology, geology, mycology, archaeology, etc.), and they learned about how to conduct first-hand scientific investigations with their students. At the conclusion of this program many of these teachers agreed to run workshops and become mentors to their colleagues.

A second phase of the TEAM project, called TEAM 2000, began in 1996 with a $4.2 million grant from the NSF. This grant supported 100 hours of professional development in science for the 1400 PreK-8 teachers then teaching in the Buffalo Public Schools. Each of these teachers received approximately fifty hours of training in three grade level appropriate kits in the life, earth, and physical sciences, and fifty hours of advanced professional development beyond the kits. Having completed their "kit training," teachers were then invited to select from a wide variety of choices that included in-depth study of science content in the life and physical sciences, engagement in scientific inquiry, in-depth exposure to the resources of the museum and other cultural institutions, examining the link between science and language development, and engagement in action research in their classrooms.

Support for the continuation of TEAM 2000 has now been taken over by the Buffalo Public Schools. Called BPS TEAM Science, the project has become an integral part of Buffalo’s PreK-12 science program. TEAM is now administered as a partnership between the Buffalo Public Schools and Firsthand Learning, which took over responsibility for the project from the Buffalo Museum of Science in 1998. Under a contract with the Buffalo Public Schools, FHL works closely with the BPS Science Department
to plan continuing teacher professional experiences and jointly administers an Inquiry Materials Center that refurbishes and distributes kits to Buffalo’s PreK to 8 classrooms.


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