Jefferson Lab Offers Science Enrichment Program for 5th, 6th & 8th Grade Teachers

Teachers Get Their Science On - One hundred sixty-two elementary and middle-school teachers interested in learning new and innovative methods for teaching the physical sciences attended the Annual Region II Teacher Night held April 20 at Jefferson Lab. Fifty-four teachers who participated in enrichment programs at JLab for teachers of science presented the activities and demonstrations.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The U.S. Department of Energy's Jefferson Lab is currently accepting applications for its science enrichment program for fifth-, sixth- and eighth-grade teachers of science.

The after-school program, designed to increase teachers' knowledge of the physical sciences and strengthen their teaching skills, runs from September 2011 through May 2012 and is called Jefferson Lab's Science Activities for Teachers, or JSAT.

"At the elementary and middle-school level, teachers, with little or no formal background in science education, often find themselves tasked with teaching the science curriculum," says Lisa Surles-Law, program administrator. "This program is a primer for them and a refresher for those with a formal education in science. JSAT provides attendees with a wealth of materials and activities to take back to their classrooms, and a chance to network with other teachers."

The 2011-12 program will include interactive activities to enhance physical science instruction at the upper-elementary and middle-school levels, and lectures by Jefferson Lab staff on the applications of science. Topics will include matter, atomic structure, energy transfer, force and motion, magnetism and electricity, waves and sound, simple machines, watershed cycle and optics. Program participants will receive supplies and materials so they may conduct all the planned activities in their own classrooms.

The program, funded by a grant from the Jefferson Science Associates Initiatives Fund, addresses components of National Science Education Standards and the Virginia Standards of Learning.

Fifth-grade teachers will meet on Tuesday nights during the program. Sixth-grade teachers meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Eighth-grade teachers are scheduled to meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. The sessions take place between 5-7 p.m. at Jefferson Lab, located at 12000 Jefferson Ave. in Newport News.

Additional information and the application form are available at:  or by emailing Surles-Law at:

The application deadline for the 2011-12 program is Friday, Sept. 16. Surles-Law may be reached by phone at 757-269-5002.

  • Session dates for fifth-grade teachers are set for the following Tuesdays: Sept. 27, Oct. 11 and 25, Nov. 8 and 29, Dec. 6 (2011), Jan. 10 and 24, Feb. 7 and 21, March 6 and 20, April 11 (Wed.; Teachers Night), and May 8 and 22 (2012).
  • Sixth-grade teachers will meet: Sept. 21, Oct. 5 and 19, Nov. 9 and 30, Dec. 7 and 14 (2011), Jan. 4 and 18, Feb. 8 and 22, March 7 and 21, April 11 (Teachers Night), and May 2 and 16 (2012).
  • Session dates for the eighth-grade teachers are: Sept. 28, Oct. 12 and 26, Nov. 9 and 30, Dec. 7 and 14 (2011), Jan. 11 and 25, Feb. 15 and 29, March 14 and 28, April 11 (Teachers Night), and May 9 and 23 (2012).


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit