Summer Courses in China for NM Teachers, March 6, 2000

SOCORRO, N.M., March 6, 2000 -- As part of its curriculum this coming summer, New Mexico Tech's Master of Science Teaching (MST) program will offer 12 selected state educators -- culled primarily from rural, ethnically diverse areas of New Mexico -- the opportunity to take summer field courses in the People's Republic of China.

Through funding provided by a prestigious U.S. Department of Education program, Tech's MST program is vastly expanding its boundaries this summer to the Huebei Province of China, including
stopovers in the cities of Beijing, Wuhan, and Yichang.

Because of a special monetary award acquired from the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program, teachers enrolled in two of the ten classes offered this summer through the MST program will be conducting environmental science field, lab, and classroom studies of water quality analysis and environmental law and regulations pertaining to water resource management in China.

"This is an exciting opportunity for MST participants to include an international component in their graduate studies," says Vannetta R. Perry, New Mexico Tech's coordinator for educational outreach programs.

"New Mexico Tech was very fortunate to get Fulbright-Hays funding for this particular project, since out of about 300 proposals which are submitted annually, only 35 to 40 projects are actually funded each year throughout the nation," she adds.

In one of the classes, MST program participants taking the 32-day-long "Chinese Area Studies in Water Law and Water Quality: An International Perspective" will be conducting surveys and analyses of Chinese water resources, particularly those related to the Three Gorges Dam Project on the Yangtze River.

Cross-cultural activities will be interspersed throughout the project and will be augmented with various field excursions that explore Chinese culture, history, religion, philosophy, geography, and educational systems.

By also presenting summations and completing papers which focus on integrating what was learned during the seminars into their respective instructional programs, participants can earn up to six graduate science teaching credit hours through New Mexico Tech's MST degree-granting program.

"As educators, it is important for us to open the world to our students and the Chinese Area Studies in Water Law and Water Quality courses also will provide that opportunity," adds Perry.
"We all will learn far beyond the environmental law and environmental engineering aspects of the course components. The cultural awareness and experiences will be invaluable, and bringing that knowledge back to New Mexico will enrich the teaching and learning of our state's K-12 students."

Perry also points out that results derived from the Chinese study may potentially have "significant applications" to water- quality problems in other countries.

Applicants who are chosen to participate in the Chinese Area Studies in Water Law and Water Quality summer courses will be provided with air travel to and from China, plus per diem expenses, as part of the funding contributed by the Fulbright- Hays Group Projects Abroad Program. However, participants will be responsible for paying all other expenses associated with the program, including registration and fees for the MST classes.

Applications for the Chinese program must be completed, submitted, and postmarked no later than Saturday, March 25.

Those interested in applying for the program, or those who wish to receive more information about these or other MST courses being offered this summer, are asked to contact Perry as soon as
possible at (505) 835-5678, or by e-mail at science@nmt.edu.

Applications and detailed information about the program also are available at the New Mexico Tech MST website at www.nmt.edu/~science/mst.