During weeks three through six, TEU participants work in teams of three to teach a science class to high school students. The high school students in these classes are from the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA), a partnership between a public high school in Hartford and Trinity College. Trinity and HMTCA have an established and innovative early college program that includes this required two-week summer science enrichment class for rising sophomores.
The centerpiece of the curriculum for the high school students is an authentic research project about river health. They study the local watershed and spend one day doing field work during which they take chemical and biological samples from two locations. Each classroom group takes responsibility for small parts of a bigger research project and presents their results at the end of the summer session.
The TEU participants develop a curriculum that helps the high school students build foundational knowledge about watersheds in support of this collaborative research project. The curriculum thus is based on environmental science but affords TEU participants the opportunity to draw from their own field of expertise to plan lessons and activities for their students.
A local experienced teacher mentor closely supervises each teaching team. The mentor observes each class, provides feedback, and contributes professional expertise in classroom management techniques and lesson design. Each team debriefs daily with its mentor.