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Home Establishment
Establishment - Page 3


- 2004 September. The two year pilot program SENCER- GEORGIA started in September, 2004 in three most important research and teaching State Universities in the Republic of Georgia: I. .Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgian Technical University and Medical State University.

In collaboration with the SENCER and the International Women in Science & Engineering (IWISE) program at Iowa State University, with assistance from US partner universities - Iowa State, Santa Clara, and George Mason Universities and with support from Georgian universities’ administration Teaching and Learning Centers (TLC) were established in September-October 2004 in all these tree universities. We have planned for 2004-2006 academic years developing of new SENCER courses, delivering seminars, meetings and trainings(1-2 per month) for universities’ teachers interested in incorporating new teaching methods into their classes, Participation of students in TLC’s work, expansion and introduction of the SENCER program and new subjects  into secondary school (mainly, in 10th, 11th grades) and high schools curricula, organization one-month internships on University campus for two US students during May’ 05, organization meetings and seminars for U.S. faculty members from partner Universities.

- 2004, September, New Teaching and Learning Centers Start Work in Tbilisi
The main goals of SENCER-GE team and TLCs are introduction of innovative teaching and learning methods, and the civic engagement component into the undergraduate curricula at Tbilisi State University, Georgian Technical University, Medical State and State University. First results of the Sencer-Ge project included design of a new course at each of the partner universities and the inauguration of Teaching and Learning Centers on each campus. Each of the new courses includes features of civic engagement and will use innovative teaching methods. Staff at the TLCs will be available to advise teachers on how to incorporate pedagogical innovations in their other courses too. During the two academic in the framework of SENCER project following subjects were created and introducted in Universities:  “Environment and Health”, “Socio-Economic Environment and Human Behavior”, “Global Ecological Disaster and Georgia”, “The Coming Energy Crisis and Then What…Apocalypses or Sustainable Development?” (TSU), “Chance”, “Chemistry and Environment” (GTU), “AIDS/HIV in Georgia”, “Several Steps Away from Death…”(MSU).

-2005 May, USA Students Internships in Georgia. The student’s internship program was jointly organized by IWISE, SENCER, the National Science Foundation, and Georgian Technical University, State University, and Medical State University. The six undergraduate engineering and biology students were recruited by the IWISE directors, Mary Ann Evans and Ardith Maney, during winter 2005. Their work in Georgia was supervised by Ardith Maney, ISU’s Stiven Freeman, and colleagues from each Georgian university. Four of the students were biology students, including majors in Animal Science, Exercise Science, Biology/International Studies, and Biochemistry. The other two were majors in ISU’s Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. The hosts all members of IWISE-SENCER teams who participated in the SENCER Summer Institute held in San Jose, CA, in August, 2004, were Butsiko Chkhartishvili and Nana Japaridze of TSU; Nino Eristavi and Ia Zhvania from the Medical University; and Giorgi Chighladze and Lali Ghogheliani at the Technical University

Students started working on research projects at SENCER’s three Georgian partner universities. Alison Lima and Shane McCarty have been “doing rounds” in departments and faculties at the Medical State University. Engineering students Kyle Riley and Mark Holzer are working on water supply and safety projects at Georgian Technical University and some Tbilisi companies where their Georgian student colleagues have internships. Meanwhile Jessica Russell and Annie Peppler, who have majors at their home university in exercise science and animal science, have gotten first-hand experience in labs at Tbilisi State University.

U.S. faculty partners consulted with Georgian counterparts on research and professional collaboration projects with their respective universities and participated in seminars organized by the SENCER-GE teams which attended the Summer Institute in 2004.

- 22, May 2005 Steve Freeman (Iowa State University’s Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department) professional seminar was presented to GTU’s Hydro-Engineering Faculty.

-20, May 2005. A seminar organized by Lali Gogeliani and the TLC director, Giorgi Chighladze for the GTU Teaching and Learning Center. Along with SENCER’s Ardith Maney in seminar participated Steven Freeman,

- 23, May 2005 Karen Oates (director of SENCER project} and Mike Allar (an assistant professor at Harrisburg University, biotechnology) participated in the seminar organized by Ia Zhvania and the Medical State University’s Teaching and Learning Center director, Nani Eristavi.

-24, May 2005. Dave Tauck (chair of the Biology department at Santa Clara University} and Ardith Money participated at the Tbilisi State University’s seminar arranged by Nana Japaridze and Butsiko Chkhartishvili.

As all these seminars, work on new courses, and as other teaching center activities accomplished during this past year were also assisted by the three SENCER-GE facilitators, Nana Japaridze, Ia Zhvania, and Lali Ghogheliani.

- 26, May 2005. During the program, Lali Ghogheliani and Butsiko Chkhartishvili helped the SENCER-GE project disseminate new course materials and teaching methods in high schools. With Butsiko’s help, high school teachers have adapted some of the SENCER-GE course materials in order to connect high school students to “new civic engagements and responsibilities.” On May 26, Ardith Maney, Karen Oates, and Lali Ghogheliani participated in presentations of high school students about health and environment concerns, which present challenges for public health in Georgia today.

- 28, May Lali Ghogheliani led a group including Maney, the American students and their Georgian university student colleagues, to a nearby rural region, where students at a high school in Sagarejo have identified and documented problems, such as drug abuse, HIV-AIDS, air pollution, and other concerns as a result of seminars presented to local high school science teachers by members of the SENCER-GE team.

- 2005, May, SENCER Workshop in Yerevan.  The Cosmic Ray Research Center located at the base of Mount Aragot near the capital city of Yerevan, Armenia served as the site for the first SENCERArmenia workshop. With the support of a supplemental grant from the National Science Foundation, SENCER Co-PI Karen Oates and four Georgian SENCER colleagues Nana Japaridze, Ia Zhvania, Nazi Kutsiava, and Butsiko Chkhartishvili brought together faculty from several different

Armenian universities, research institutions, and NGOs to discuss our shared commitment to science education, the SENCER ideals, and approaches. The meeting led to the exchange of ideas on how to revitalize science education, how to implement new technologies in teaching and learning processes. Explored how to establish and strengthen successful collaborative research projects across international borders. The workshop featured research conducted in Georgia and at the Cosmic Ray Center and highlighted a local model of how to link research to teaching. Our Georgian colleagues presented models that have worked in their home institutions and described the progress that they have made in institutionalizing

SENCER courses. As a result of the workshop, three Armenian scientists were selected for the SENCER Summer Institute 2005 attendance. SSI 2005 Armenian participants: Dr. Lana Hakobyan from Bio EcoMed, NGO, Dr. Ishkan Hovhannisyan from the State Engineering University of Armenia (Polytechnic), and Dr. Valeri Babayan from the Yerevan State University and the Cosmic Ray Research Center.

-2005, August SSI-05.iWith supplemental support from the National Science Foundation, SENCER brought 9 members of the scientific community from Georgia to the SENCER Summer Institute 2005. While in the U.S., Georgian and Armenian colleagues spent time in the Washington, DC area meeting with representatives from the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, George Mason University, and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. Upon their return home, the Georgians held an assembly for institutions that are using SENCER materials and courses to “revitalize their curriculum.” There were approximately 50 people in attendance.

- August, 2005. The Georgian teams visited after the SENCER Summer Institute in San Jose and the Harrisburg, Iowa State and Santa Clara University campuses to carry out further activities in our respective partnerships.