Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots: Fostering a Community of Compassionate Leaders

This week the GR!S Cohort will be blogging about our expanding scientific community. I have chosen to take this time to introduce you to someone who inspires me in the field of science learning & literacy, one of my significant narrators- Daniel Budmen, and a program he is passionate about-Roots & Shoots!

Daniel studied Geoscience (Focus: Agricultural Meteorology) and Environmental Studies (Focus: Sustainable Community Development) at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Daniel is a compassionate leader who is an advocate for environmentalism and community service. While working with Geneva youth through the Seneca Chapter of Roots & Shoots, Daniel was “inspired by renowned anthropologist Jane Goodall to create a project to increase children’s environmental literacy and knowledge about the ecology of the Finger Lakes” (Hobart and William Smith Colleges). With the support of the Centennial Leadership Fellowship, Daniel began the design and construction of a tree nursery to be built at the Geneva Community Center, while looking back at Geneva’s history for inspiration and understanding.

Daniel’s goal envisioned active student learning and community service: “Lessons in the environment, the history of trees in the Finger Lakes, research on local tree species and a history of Geneva nurseryman, William Smith, will help develop children’s environmental literacy” (Hobart and William Smith Colleges). Geneva in the early 1900s was home to at least a dozen tree nurseries which shipped trees around the continental United States. There was a saying that locals and out-of-staters knew alike, “Where a tree is grown, Geneva is known” (Daniel Budmen, Personal Communication). Most notably, William Smith shipped his trees to Fredrick Law Olmsted when he was designing Central Park in New York City, many of those trees still stand today. By the mid-1900s, industry and residential expansion in Geneva drove all of the nurseries out. For his project, Daniel sought to bring a historical and environmental competence to children who many otherwise not know the rich agricultural history of the region, while aiming to bring environmental and cultural lessons to the group of children. The trees that are now grown by the children of the Seneca Chapter of Roots and Shoots, are planted in the Geneva community and cared for by the children and volunteers of the program.

What is Roots & Shoots?

In 1991 Dr. Jane Goodall founded a youth service program named Roots & Shoots. Today Roots & Shoots remains a grassroots organization, “individual chapters identify local concerns and design projects to address these issues” (Seneca Chapter, Roots & Shoots). The mission of Roots & Shoots aims “to foster respect and compassion for all living things, to promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs, and to inspire each individual to take action to make the world a better place for people, other animals, and the environment” (Roots & Shoots).

“Roots & Shoots empowers young people to become the type of leaders who will make right choices to build a better world. Through the program, youth lead local change through service while developing skills and traits of compassionate leaders” (Roots & Shoots).

Youth involved in the Roots & Shoots program have identified nine qualities that represent a compassionate leader.

These nine traits include:

  1. Introspective: Examines their beliefs to consider how their actions affect the world around them
  2. Acts with a Purpose: Makes choices that align with a commitment to have a positive impact on important issues
  3. Thinks Critically: Explores a topic from all angles before making a well-though-out decision
  4. Empathetic: Connects to feelings outside their own by viewing concepts through the lens of another
  5. Collaborates & Communicates Openly: Embraces the inspiration and participation of others by accepting new ideas and perspectives
  6. A Team Player: Works well in a team and engages their peers by leveraging their unique individual skill sets
  7. Inspires Peers: Sets a positive example for the people around them
  8. Hopeful & Optimistic: Stays positive and committed to achieving their goal
  9. Adaptable & Resilient: Embraces challenges and overcomes setbacks

(Compassionate Leadership, Roots & Shoots)

The Seneca Chapter of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots is led by Nan Crystal Arens, Professor of Geoscience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. “Seneca Roots & Shoots projects include: Recycling and community clean-up, environmental education, urban habitat for bird and butterflies, and water quality” (Seneca Chapter, Roots & Shoots).

According to the Seneca Chapter, programming is informed by scholars Richard Louv and James W. Gibson. “Louv asserts that many children today suffer from ‘nature deficit disorder’, a lack of exposure to the natural world. He demonstrates that many skills required for success in the academic and social spheres (e.g., working together cooperatively, solving problems, exercising creativity, making decisions, and practicing self-control) develop through unstructured, individual and group play in nature. Nature-play also stimulates all sense and fosters whole body engagement” (Seneca Chapter, Roots & Shoots).

Projects like the greenhouse and programs like Roots & Shoots inspire both environmental science learning and agency for conservation in youth (Ballard et al., 2016). While participating in youth -focused citizen science, Ballard et al. (2016) find that youth develop “connections between their science work, their place, their ecosystem, and the impacts of their own actions on the environment” (p. 73).

When we afford youth the opportunity to participate in authentic science work “the measurement of impact is not whether they gained in those skills and knowledge, but that they were allowed to practice and develop those skill in the context for the purposes of conservation and science work” (Ballard et al. 2016, p. 74).

Interested? Read Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods!

Intrigued? Check out Ballard et al. (2016) Youth-focused citizen science: Examining the role of environmental science learning and agency for conservation!

Inspired? Volunteer with a Roots & Shoots Chapter near you!

Questions? Comment with questions for Daniel about the Greenhouse project or Roots & Shoots below!

References:

  1. Ballard, H.L., et al. (2016). Youth-Focused Citizen Science: Examining the role of environmental science literacy and agency for conservation. Biological Conservation, 208, 65-75.
  2. Budmen, Daniel. Personal Communication. 23 June 2017.
  3. Arens, Nan Crystal. (2014). Roots & Shoots Greenhouse Short. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni3JQ_ezKTs.
  4. Hobart and William Smith Colleges. (2014). Improving Literacy Times Two. Retrieved from: http://www2.hws.edu/article-id-16579/.
  5. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots. (2017). About Us. Retrieved from: https://www.rootsandshoots.org/aboutus.
  6. Seneca Chapter, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots. (2017). Learn about us! Retrieved from: http://senecarootsandshoots.org/index.php?id=what-we-do.

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The Science of Learning: Place-Based Learning

All learning is situated. How it is situated varies. According to Krajcik & Shin (2014): “Situated learning in science would involve students in experiencing phenomena as they take part in various scientific practices such as designing investigations, making explanations, constructing modeling and presenting their ideas to others” (p. 277).

Benjamin Franklin once said:

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn” (Moulding et al. 2014. p. 70).

Project-based learning is a recent topics in education reform that seeks to increase student involvement in learning. As defined by Krajcik & Shin (2014): “Project-based learning allows students to learn by doing, to apply ideas, and to solve problems. In doing so, students engage in real-world activities similar to those of professional scientists” (p. 275).

Can we take project-based learning a step further? The Grand Rapids Public Museum School did just this, opening their doors in 2015. What began as an experiment in place-based learning, the Grand Rapids Public Museum School was recently awarded as winners of the XQ challenge, the prize- $10 million for their school! (Edutopia). Watch this video to learn more!

Check out Edutopia’s awesome photo blog experience to see how the Grand Rapids Public Museum School is situating learning in both project and place-based learning!

 

Place-Based Learning: “At the Grand Rapids Public Museum School, students use the museum’s exhibits-and the city of Grand Rapids- as their campus” (Edutopia). (Photo Source: Grand Rapids Public Museum)

 

“The success of the Museum School has helped spawn the growth of theme and partnership schools across the district. At the Blandford School, a middle school inside a local nature center, students learn how to run a business by tending to the center’s chickens and selling their eggs” (Edutopia). (Photo Source: Grand Rapids Public Schools).

 

After looking through the photographs you might be wondering about about the structure of the Grand Rapids Public Museum School- how does it work? Let’s start by defining place-based education. According to the Public Museum School:

“Placed-based education gets students involved in their community through real world problem solving. Learning to solve a problem in their community makes education more relevant for students. Place-based education is different from traditional education because it uses the local community as a textbook. Students learn from their own community but can apply their knowledge to other places or situations” (Public Museum School).

The Public Museum School uses the Design Thinking method to design “curious, creative and collaborative” lessons (Public Museum School).

 

The Learning by Design Thinking Method engages students by building curiosity, fostering creativity and encouraging collaboration throughout the learning process. Here is a breakdown of key components that make up the Design Thinking process: Frame It, Find It, Reflect, Play and Plan It, Make It and Try It (Public Museum School). Notice that each arrow is double-ended, a set order is not required for this learning process and steps can be re-visited throughout. (Image Source: Public Museum School).

 

The Get Real! Science Team is currently working on developing lesson plans in preparation for working with the Sodus Central School District this summer as part of their annual STEM Camp! Our camp plans seek to investigate water quality, erosion and invasive species- all of which will engage campers in both project and place-based learning activities. Check back in the coming weeks for updates!

Learn More about The XQ Super School Project:

The XQ Super School Project proposes a new model for learning, XQ Learning. The Super School Project defines XQ learning based on the following goals:

  1. Masters of all fundamental literacies
  2. Holders of foundational knowledge
  3. Original thinkers for an uncertain world
  4. Learners for life
  5. Generous collaborators for tough problems

Do you have ideas on how to improve our current education system? Share your ideas here! Want to get involved? Stay up to date by signing up to receive emails, share what you’re doing in your school community and/or find a XQ project near you and help the team!

A Special Shout-Out to my fellow GR!S Team member Kaitlin this week for introducing me to Edutopia– an awesome resource for re-thinking our approaches to learning! Check out Kaitlin’s blog here!

References:
  • Edutopia. 2017. Place-Based Learning- Photos: A Look Inside the Grand Rapids Museum School. Retrieved from: https://www.edutopia.org/article/photos-look-inside-grand-rapids-museum-school.
  • Krajcik, J. & Shin, (2014). Project-based learning in Sawyer, RK (ed.) The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences, second edition. (pp. 275-297). New York. Cambridge University Press.
  • Moulding, B.D., Bybee, R.W. & Paulson, N. (2014).   A Vision and Plan for Science Teaching & Learning: An Educator’s Guide to A Framework for K-12 Science Education, Next Generation Science Standards and State Science Standards. Essential Teaching and Learning Publications, USA.
  • Public Museum School. 2017. Retrieved from: http://publicmuseumschool.org/curriculum/.
  • XQ The Super School Project. 2017. Retrieved from: https://xqsuperschool.org/getinvolved.

 

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Establishing a Science Community!

Yesterday, the GR!S Integrating Science & Literacy Cohort visited East Lower School in Rochester, N.Y. In teams of two we presented our team research investigations focusing on water quality in the Genesee River outlet and shores of Lake Ontario. During each transition between presentations we took on the role of a scientist who belongs to a group generally underrepresented in science.

For a collection of inspiring stories about scientists throughout history check out this awesome book: Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, written by- Rachel Ignotofsky.

As Kaitlin prepared for her impersonation by putting on a white lab coat, a student responded:

“You look like a scientist, now” – 6th Grade Student, East Lower School, Rochester, N.Y.

The comment did not come as a surprise, we so often associate science with a white lab coat, a beaker containing a toxic liquid, all enclosed in a laboratory setting equipped with ventilation hoods. Does this image really encompass what science is? What can we do to expand our views of scientists and how science works? Prior to our visit at East Lower School the students were asked to draw a picture of how science works. They will now repeat this same activity after our visit. The goal of this activity encourages students to expand their definition of a scientist beyond the well-known illustrations of Albert Einstein.

Why focus on the importance of identity in science, more specifically in science education? Historically identity labels have served as barriers for entrance to the field of science, beginning at the school science level. Stereotypes of a “typical scientist” are highlighted in the classroom through film (Bill Nye the Science Guy), examples of major scientific breakthroughs and images portraying the role of a scientist- these are misleading as they often neglect to highlight minority groups (women, people of color) as active, influential members of the scientific community. It is our role as educators to challenge students to think why this portrayal of a scientist exists and to highlight people of all identities participating in roles as scientists, beginning with a science student.

Settlage and Southerland (2012) state: “We need teachers to assist us with debunking the myths of the lone scientist and the Scientific Method if students are to develop robust understandings about how science is done. They need to see that science is a social enterprise and understand the role debate, discussion, and other forms of communication play in scientific culture” (p. 40).

During our science presentations and poster session at East Lower yesterday students were not only able to witness a community of scientists but importantly be a participating member in a community of scientists. Twenty sixth grade students, three classroom teachers, substitute teachers and teaching assistants welcomed the GR!S Team and Liam & Daryl, our captains from the Rochester Yacht Club, into their classroom with open arms! The students were engaged in critical learning, asked insightful questions driving future research ideas and actively participated in hands on demonstrations.

Let’s expand our scientific community even more and take a look an overview of our investigation and findings:

Noelle (Check out her awesome blog here!) and I decided to investigate turbidity as an indicator of water quality. Turbidity is a measure of water clarity and “can be used as an indicator of potential pollution in a water body” (USGS). Causes of increased turbidity include: inorganic and organic matter, rainstorms, erosion and runoff. Increasing turbidity can lead to decreasing water  clarity and photosynthetic rate and increasing water temperatures! By investigating factors of water quality we can begin to learn what we, as a community, can do in order to keep our rivers and lakes clean! We can also investigate how recent weather patterns, in our case flooding, impact water quality.

We posed the following research question:

How Does Water Depth Influence Turbidity, or Water Clarity?

Noelle and I hypothesized that water depth has an effect on both turbidity and temperature. Furthermore, we predicted that turbidity and temperature would both be higher at the surface of the water than below, or at depths of five and ten meters.

On the map each of our nine sites are marked. At each site we collected water samples from the surface (0 m), five meters and ten meters. We then analyzed both the temperature and turbidity for each sample.

Our findings:

Above we graphed our findings for turbidity (NTU) across water depths (0m, 5m, and 10m) for each of our nine sites. We found that turbidity varied based on site more so than water depth. However, it is important to point out that our two sites on Lake Ontario (Site 8 and 9) had a lower turbidity than sites on the Genesee River.

Our second graph reports our temperature findings across water depths for each of our nine sites. We found that temperature generally decreased with increasing water depth. A statistical analyses of the data will allow us to determine whether or not a significant difference is present. Upon first analysis it does show that water temperature in Lake Ontario is lower, at all three depths, than water temperature on the Genesee River outlet.

Why do turbidity and temperature matter? Take a look at these two data tables adapted from PASCO.

What’s next? Future research on our topic could focus on increasing our sample size, visiting other river outlets along Lake Ontario and comparing data across the Great Lakes!

While this is short overview of our study, Noelle and I welcome questions and feedback! What do you think our next steps should be? What do you want to know more about? Share your ideas with us through the comment section on either of our blog sites!

A special thank you this week to the teachers and sixth-grade students at East Lower School for welcoming us into your classrooms and including us in your science community! Noelle and I would also like to thank: Liam, Daryl and Peter- our boat captains and the Rochester Yacht Club, the NYS Master Teacher Cohort (Laura, Dan, Jeff, Rebecca and Bob) for their insightful science education advice and our GR!S Science Team (Kristy, James, Sydney, Kaitlin, Victor, Patrick and April) for all of their support!

Check out the Bookmarks section on my blog to visit my fellow GR!S cohort blogs!

Here we are, standing (Left to Right): James, Sydney, April (GR!S Advisor & Mentor), Kaitlin, Olivia, Noelle, Patrick and kneeling: Kristy and Victor!

References:

PASCO Student Information Sheet: Hydromania 2: Is It Safe? Retrieved from: ftp://ftp.pasco.com/Support/Curriculum/Free/Generic/PASport_Sample_Workbooks/PS-2805%20TOC.pdf

Settlage, J. & Southerland S. (2012). Teaching science to every child: Using culture as a starting point. New York, NY: Routledge.

The USGS Water Science School. (2016). Turbidity. USGS Science for a Changing World. Retrieved from: https://water.usgs.gov/edu/turbidity.html. Retrieved on: 29 May 2017.

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The Beginning Steps: Building a Science Investigation

This week the Get Real! Science team climbed aboard two motor boats (Special thanks to our Captains Liam, Daryl and Peter and the Rochester Yacht Club!) in order to gather data along the Genesee River and shores of Lake Ontario! Collectively we investigated water quality factors including, but not limited to: temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and nutrient levels. Currently, we are working in teams to analyze the data we have collected in order to prepare for our upcoming Science Talk presentations at East Lower School in Rochester! Check out James’ GR!S blog post here to learn more! Keep an eye out for updates on what we find and our presentations next week!

Prior to gathering data we explored several different options, as a group and in teams of two. We researched the history of Lake Ontario, specifically at the Genesee River outlet. Next, we began to ask questions: How could recent flooding impact water quality? What factors might be useful to study in order to see how water quality has changed over time? Who is responsible for preserving water quality? How can we make a difference to ensure the long term health of places like Lake Ontario? Questions such as these allows us to begin to build a science investigation.

How can YOU begin to build a science investigation? 

Moulding et al. (2014) state: “In the classroom, investigations have a vital role for students gaining new information to engage in reasoning but also to learn about the nature for science and engineering; most importantly, investigations are fun” (Moulding et al., 2014, p. 114).

Let’s begin by considering an online resource, please visit: The Nature Conservancy. “The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people” (The Nature Conservancy, 2017).

The Nature Conservancy aims to “conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends” (The Nature Conservancy, Mission Statement, 2017).  To learn more about The Nature Conservancy watching this video!

Here you will find a list of places around the world where The Nature Conservancy works! Allow yourself to explore, science investigations are best when they are something YOU are personally interested in! Next you can choose an area of conservation!

I chose to focus on water to keep with this week’s theme of Lake Ontario’s water quality. Did you know: “New York has more than 7,600 freshwater lakes, ponds and reservoirs, two Great Lakes and over 70,000 miles of rivers and streams”(The Nature Conservancy, 2017). Here’s what I found:

In December 2016, Plan 2014 was approved. Plan 2014 is “a new water management plan that will help reverse 50 years of man-made damage to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River watersheds” (The Nature Conservancy, 2016).

“Plan 2014 represents the largest wetlands restoration effort in the United States outside of the Florida Everglades, and taps the forces of nature to restore 64,000 acres — 100 square miles — of valuable wetlands. The product of decades of research, analysis and public input, the plan balances the needs of shoreline property owners, the environment, the shipping industry, tourists, sportsmen, businesses and more, ensuring every stakeholder will see benefits from this historic achievement.” (The Nature Conservancy, 2016).

Why Plan 2014? Check out this video provided by the International Joint Commission for an overview on Plan 2014.   “The current system of managing water levels and flow for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River has been in place for more than 50 years, and is slowly killing the lake’s ecosystem” (The Nature Conservancy, 2017). In the image below you can see the current situation and proposed strategies for Plan 2014.

Photograph: Plan 2014, The Nature Conservancy, 2016.

Inspired to take action?

  1. Here is a list of upcoming events and volunteer opportunities through The Nature Conservancy in New York State! For those of us in Western New York, check out three upcoming opportunities at Hemlock Lake!
  2. Take Action Now by telling congress that you support a science cause! Read about the various causes and pledges including: Science funding, Protecting our natural landscapes, Conservation efforts and Climate action!
References:
  • International Joint Commission. (2017). Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Plan 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.ijc.org/en_/Plan2014/home. Retrieved on: 3 June 2017.
  • Moulding, B.D., Bybee, R.W. & Paulson, N. (2014).   A Vision and Plan for Science Teaching & Learning: An Educator’s Guide to A Framework for K-12 Science Education, Next Generation Science Standards and State Science Standards. Essential Teaching and Learning Publications, USA.
  • The Nature Conservancy. (2017). Plan 2014. Retrieved from: http://supportplan2014.org/. Retrieved on: 3 June 2017.
  • The Nature Conservancy. (2016). Statewide Coalition Applauds U.S. and Canadian Governments for Approving Plan 2014 to Protect Upstate Economy and Environment. Retrieved from: https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/newyork/newsroom/statewide-coalition-applauds-us-and-canadian-governments-for-approving-plan.xml. Retrieved on: 3 June 2017.
  • The Nature Conservancy. (2017). The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved from: https://www.nature.org/?intc=nature.tnav.logo. Retrieved on: 3 June 2017.

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How do you define Science Education?

Hello! For my first blog post I have chosen  to explore how we define and employ science education today. First, I will pose some questions for you to consider- these are questions that I have been pondering since by decision to pursue a degree in Science Education . Next, I highlight a New York Times publication titled Ideas for Improving Science Education  by Claudia Dreifus. Lastly, I plan to outline my goals for this Get Real! Science Blog. After reading I hope you will join in on the conversation and pose questions that you are considering in regards to Science Education.

Questions to Consider:

  • How do you define Science Education?
  • Did you enjoy studying science in school? Why/Why not?
  • How do you use science today?
  • What more do you want to know about science?

 

How can we improve the ways in which we teach, learn and interact with science? This question was posed by Claudia Dreifus and stemmed her investigation and New York Times Publication, Ideas for Improving Science Education. Dreifus (2013) asks:

“If you could make one change to improve Science Education in the United States, what would it be?”

(Dreifus, 2013) went on to ask this question to 19 scientists, educators and students. To read the full article visit: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/09/02/science/science-education-voices.html?_r=0

Dreifus received a variety of responses, including: ideas for education reform, calls for better education methods and techniques, suggestions for building room for innovation and invention, and opportunities for implementation and community partnership. Scientists, educators and students alike recognize the need for change in how we currently employ science education in our school systems. Within their suggestions and calls-for-action emerged four themes that I believe are important to consider.

First: How do we improve the ways we teach science? 

Carl E. Wieman, Nobel laureate in physics and former associate director for the White House Office of Science and Technology and Policy, calls for better methods of teaching and the incorporation of real-world examples (Dreifus, 2013). Alan I. Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, emphasizes the need for a focus on teaching the nature of science and  demonstrating for students how science and scientists work (Dreifus, 2013). Rita Colwell, Cholera researcher and former director of NSF, states the need to elevate the ways in which we teach science to K-12 students and suggests that graduate students could both elevate the content and serve as role models in science for younger students (Dreifus, 2013). Catherine L. Drennan, a Professor of Chemistry and Biology at MIT, states the importance of highlighting what is happening in science today. Drennan expresses concern with our narrow focus on history and states: “It can seem as if all discoveries are in the past and were made by dead white guys” (Dreifus, 2013).

Second: Active student engagement in their local communities can serve as opportunities to implement science content learned in the classroom. 

Deon Sanders, a fifth grader, challenges educators to structure lessons so that they are relevant to students lives (Drefius, 2013). Dianne Marie Omire-Mayor, a senior in high school, wants to engage in science projects that are “more hands-on” (Dreifus, 2013).

Freeman A. Hrabowski III, Mathematician and President of the University of Maryland, calls for an increase in community partnerships and work opportunities for students, stating that we must “create opportunities to excite students about how math and science connect to real life” (Dreifus, 2013). Likewise, Najib Jammal, Principal at Lakeland Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, suggests the need for applying STEM lessons in local communities, for example the implementation and maintenance of a community garden (Dreifus, 2013).

Third: As educators we must move beyond assessment that requires memorization and encourage students to immerse themselves in new content, offering critiques and investigating topics over time. 

Naomi Mburu, a senior in high school, states that she would “rather understand than just memorize formulas” (Drefius, 2013).

Maria Klawe, Computer scientists and President of Harvey Mudd College, states: “I wish STEM educators at whatever level would help all students understand that hard work and persistence are much more important to scientific success than natural ability” (Dreifus, 2013). “Real science happens when you’re really immersed in a question” -Elizabeth Blackburn, Nobel laureate in medicine, Biochemist at UCSF (Dreifus, 2013).

Mitzi Montoya, Dean of the College of Technology and Innovation at Arizona State University, emphasizes the importance of “creating innovators and inventors” (Dreifus, 2013). While Paulo Blikstein, Director of the Transformative Learning Technologies Laboratory at Stanford University, suggests the implementation of an “Idea Day” where one day a week students are given the opportunity to “use scientific concepts to invent something” (Dreifus, 2013).

Fourth: We must make science accessible outside of the classroom, allowing students to build curiosity and identify with science beginning at a young age.

Michael F. Summers, Biochemist at the University of Maryland, challenges educators to allow students to discover their identities as scientists, stating that students should “think of themselves as scientists now” (Dreifus, 2013).

Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief of Scientific American, states: “We need to make it easy for families to have fun with science- to ask questions about how the world works, and to explore the answers together” (Dreifus, 2013).

In fact Scientific American does just this by publishing awesome projects on their website under the tab Bring Science Home: https://www.scientificamerican.com/education/bring-science-home/

Bring Science Home offers educational pieces and projects for K-12, Higher Education and Lifelong Learners (Scientific American). In addition to methods for a wide variety of science projects, you will find background information explaining content and links that offer options for further exploration on the topic (Scientific American).

Looking for a fun, family science project to do this weekend? Check out: Water-Wise: Keep Soil Wet without waste- A gardening project from Science Buddies at:https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/water-wise-keep-soil-wet-without-waste/

Next Steps: My goals for this Get Real! Science Blog

  1. Explore methods of teaching Science Education while exploring topics currently emphasized in science classes, grades 7-12.
  2. Research opportunities for student involvement in our local community. How can we encourage student involvement in science beyond the classroom?
  3. Investigate projects that meet science curriculum standards and allow for students to personally connect with the content.
  4. Investigate how we can increase the accessibility of science for students of all ages.
  5. Offer a platform for students, educators, and parents to engage in conversation regarding Science Education with the hope that we will together build classrooms that allow all students to identify as scientists beginning at a young age (Michael F. Summers- Dreifus, 2013).
References:

Bring Science Home. Scientific American. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/education/bring-science-home/. Retrieved on 26 May 2017.

Dreifus, C. (2013). Ideas for Improving Science Education. The New York Times, Science. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/09/02/science/science-education-voices.html?_r=0. Retrieved on 26 May 2017.

Water-Wise: Keep Soil Wet without Waste- A gardening project from Science Buddies. 2016. Scientific American. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/water-wise-keep-soil-wet-without-waste/. Retrieved on 26 May 2017.

 

 

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