Event ID: 1639666
Event Started: 10/23/2010 11:19:12 AM ET
Please standby for realtime caption text.
We have a new set of characters up on stage, so if they would migrate up there, that would be cool.
Jay is modeling good behavior.
If we can grab people out of the halls, byways. We are getting close.
The topic du jour is transfer and we have elected panel again. I want to check in with you. Earlier this morning you wrote down the name of a struggling student. How many of you have now added your last name? If you have not added your last name, take it seriously.
My job is to tell you two things. One is if you haven't already noticed, dinner is on your own tonight. Start thinking about what you're going to do, and find some people to do what -- do it with. Have a good time. I will introduce our facilitator/moderator for our next panel although he needs no introduction because you have all met him already. He will introduce the rest of his group.
This morning he gave me a pin with his information on it that says Jay Dubner program coordinator, science teachers. I have the address if you need it. I have his e-mail address, website address. He is from Columbia University so you have got back, too. College of physicians and surgeons. I will let him explain that later.
I decided I am not going to be valid dollars back to you. I will tell you something I think you have already figured out speed no matter what Jay does seem to be doing there seems to be doing he provides other people with exponential learning. And in so doing, mentoring the people involved in that exponential learning.
He started working with the Columbia University summer research program for secondary schools, science teachers in 1983. As I said before it's more that exponential learning there is seminars going on et cetera. He has several degrees with an advanced degree in school administration and supervision. He was a classroom teacher for 20 years in the New York City schools. So he knows what he's talking about. He has worked with high school chemistry teachers and then in all of these three settings what he has learned he is sharing not only with us but with other countries so he has served as a consultant with the Singapore government in the sense of setting up a RET there and also working in Queenland in Australia. So I think Jay is the perfect moderator for our next group because he has already modeled transfer.
Very kind of you.
When Jennifer asked me for my bio sketch I thought to putting all of these little things and it took the whole page. This is what happens when you get old. It keeps growing.
I would like to start off by thinking Jennifer, lives, and Elizabeth and for those of you who do not know Elizabeth is also known as lays in her life outside of NOAA. Why I find that shocking I do not believe that she has -- as Liz in her life a site of NOAA and WiFi that shocking as I do not believe she has a life outside of NOAA could they have done an amazing job here. I am grateful to be able to participate in organizing the conference and I appreciate them tapping into my expertise having done something similar years ago.
Of course, this conference would not have been possible if we did not have support from NSF, Department of Education, Department of energy and NOAA's office of education and I hope these agencies see the value in these types of conferences and professionals who have a real passion who are improving STEM in our country could with that information consider funding future account inquiries.
And if the elections go this year as predicted, I suggest you allocate the funds now because they may not be there next year. Today's panelists about transfer -- panel is about transfer and it starts with a teacher whose a scientist or engineer and that reminds me of a short story about a science teacher who after another day in the trenches goes to a bar. They sit down and next to the teacher of the bar is a scientist with his huge, beautiful bird on the side of his shoulder. The teacher looks over and says, oh my god, that is so rare. Where did you find that? And the bird says what you talking about they are all over the country?
Mosiah teachers don't -- most science teachers don't know how to make the connection to science-based of the first person on the panel is someone who I know very well and she was in the Columbia summer research program back five years ago. And if there's anyone who has made a connection with a scientist it is Susan Vicent and she will talk about the amazing things that she has done. Susan?
All right. Thank you, Jay do I have to tell you it's doing to be among like-minded were science education confirms. We all have that fire in the so to speak to bring research into the classroom and make it available for students. Just for my own information here how many of you teach children who have been left behind or are in areas in disadvantage situations? Most of us. I teach in East Harlem in New York City and talk about cities, kids that have been left behind. These kids that live in highlife apartment buildings and asphalt covered playgrounds so they have little connection with the natural world. They come to us with really low skills were science is concerned. So we attempt to adjust that situation. I have an idea that I probably participated in, one of the country's best research experiences for teachers. Columbia's program. Not only is it well organized and well run by Jay and his team are particularly focused on finding networks of teachers that talk to our interests and engage us as individuals. So in doing that -- is this going to work?
First of all, while Jay figures is that I will talk to you about the program that I founded with my mentor scientists. Thank you. It is called the secondary schools in field research program. I took my experience with teacher research, plugged into my mentor scientists Dr. Robert Newton and we put together a field research program that has been in business for five years. I want to talk to you about how this program evolved. I was with the program in 2005-2006. What we wanted to do was look at the research already being done in the Hudson River Valley and to look for a niche where we could create a study that high school students could actually contribute data that would be useful to the scientific community at large. This brings up some challenges. Mainly an economic one of developing a study that was feasible and that could be continued long-term.
So central to the goals of scientific caterers is to engage students so they can experience first-hand the rewards and the challenges of carrying out basic and applied research. We know this goal can be difficult to attain because of lack of training on the part of teachers and limited resources. Those resources are becoming less and less available to us with budget cutbacks. So SSRFP, the secondary school field research program provides a model for how we can overcome some of these limitations through collaboration with mentor scientists.
So we have the Piermont marsh program situated on the west bank of the Hudson River. It is about 40 kilometers north of New York City. We are passionate about having high school students engaged in a vigorous program that produces data that can actually be used by scientists. We feel that these goals of using the high school students to collect the data while producing a product for people in the scientific community are mutually exclusive goals -- are not mutually exclusive goals.
We have partnerships established. First and foremost is Columbia University. At the University has a research station across the river called the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and we work with the Department of environmental conservation, Palisades interstate Park commission, NSFG K-12 program.
The run of the marsh program in July and August. Students collect data and take it back and check in with the sponsors and get an experience that inner-city kids never have under other circumstances. They are totally unfamiliar with the marsh environment and it is so encouraging to see them get out there, get into the muck. They get passionate about preserving the wetlands and they take on this banner of a project that they can make a difference in. So that makes them different in their lives. These are some shots of some of the students in action. Not only do they get course credit they also received a general statement paid $1200 for six weeks aboard in the summer. This is a chuckle because we are working with inner-city kids who must contribute in many cases -- central because we are working with inner-city kids who must attribute in many cases to their families so we provide ways for them to do that.
We also extend programs throughout the year with the G-K12 grant. The graduate student comes into my classroom and then one day a month she takes my students in the field. This helps me because that research could not go forward if I did not have some help in the classroom and also my administration does not allow me to take the kids out of the field one day a month because there are not -- there's not a substitute teacher for me so this has been a great boon to my teaching.
There are logistical challenges involved in leading a group of students across the river. First we catch the Columbia University shuttle bus that takes us to the Lamont Doherty Observatory could we borrow it and take the equipment down to the marsh and then we take a news outlet to the marsh to do our research. It is a bit of a challenge to move from here to there. At one of the biggest challenges that we face is funding could we are always looking for money. You can see here a list of the people who have given us money and the 1I am most proud is the second on the list, Hollins University. We had a student a few years back who came to the marsh and went off to Holland and finished her four years there and talked up the marsh program to the extent that Hollins University gave us the money to keep going. That was thrilling. The biggest boom was the Toyota tapestry grants that kick started our evaluation.
We are out there in evaluating every day. We are out in the field. Looking at what works, why didn't work, how we can fix it and make it better. The outcomes. We have our students presenting at conferences. We have some pretty stellar college placement and we are working with a group of students that not only are they the first generation to go to college, they are the first generation to go to high school. It's really to help them to the program and get these good college placement and funding as a result of their participation in the research. I have three students that came to the summer program that are now declared environmental engineering majors. I also have four students better taking to the geological -- that I am taking to the geological Society of America conference could we have a fifth girl who did a summer program and is now at Colby College. So in many cases the first generation to go to college. For many of our students, English is not spoken at home so we are working with parents and it makes it very, very difficult for the students to achieve. So programs like this, teacher research programs that allow me to network and being the six pages into the classroom are just so important to help students move ahead.
So in conclusion, the SSRFP secondary school field research program offers teachers a vehicle for getting students involved in field research and collaborating with scientists. It also allows the students to develop skills, build their confidence, experience first-hand what it feels like to be a scientist. Most important, it helps level the playing field when they are going for college placement and looking for money to fund their college experience. Thank you.
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Thank you, Susan. The next person is Jonah Peterson and teaches a multigrade class in Everett Washington preachy teachers using applied learning format for students use their skills and knowledge in core areas to carry out projects of investigation and environment of science. She has her students raised salmon and maintain a WebCam on their tank. In 95 she participated in training for the Globe program and her classes have been involved in this for the last 16 years. Mrs. Peterson is a national Board certified teacher and has been the teacher in the sea and air, Polar TREC teacher and has received an award in excellence in math teaching. She has been funded by NOAA to expand experiences she's able to provide for her students. In other words, in layman's terms, she is a professional development junkie. Unfortunately there is not a 12 step program to cure people of that, so with that I gave -- give you Marny.
You are a bit scarier looking than a NFCA crowd, I'm not sure why. So if I can manage the technology. My teacher in the air experience, the outgrowth of my program I got a call from Jennifer and she said they can put you in the air with Dana Thomlinson but it was not an opportunity that I went looking for but something I was interested in. We went down to Portland and met with Jack Parrish and he gave us a briefing. We really had no idea what we were getting into. We float in the Pacific 1800 miles could we learned how the drop funds work and what happens when we send the data back and then we started creating our admission for transfer.
The transfer in the classroom is the biggest and most important part that transfers from being a teacher in the air, in the lab. The program is going down -- is growing to be have to go from what we learned. Actually it worked very well because it was a natural extension to my workflow. I have had the opportunity to take what I learned from that flight crew -- I will skip a little bit of this. Take that adventure, take what I've learned from the flight crew. The relationships I built with people than that and take those into my classroom and enrich what my students are learning. With a hands-on format to our program I get students who learn better putting a hand something and on a field trip do not do well sitting with their feet on the floor and back straight. You have to get engaged to learn it.
We came up with lessons that have the students attacking the route and figuring out the mileage and how fast they were going. Things that worked for math and geography standards. We had students working with the weather information that we got. I said that is fine but the kids do not know what that means. They do not know what relative humidity means. The materials that I developed took me back to when I was in grade school and my students now start the year of making their own weather instruments out of milk cartons and we make hydrometer's and useful means to make different kinds of barometers. By interacting with that material day come to understand what it is they are sending back to us as the drop down through from the plane to the surface of the ocean. When they come into school in the morning they have a jacket on. It's below 50 degrees because they figure out what -- that the weatherman might know what he's talking about.
The impacts on student seems to make them be consumers of the science and other consumers of the science that is surrounding them every day. That is a huge part of being a citizen. My goal for my students is that they leave my classroom on the pathway to becoming good consumers and our environment and producers. And an informed electorate. People that can make those decisions as adult that will support our world been a better place. That is one of the big focuses that I have when I talk to their parents. Because of the field trips that we do in the involvement I have had with teacher research services, I feel that I am teaching parents as much as I am teaching students. After my first TRE I got involved on the level of the district teaching other teachers of the first thing that I give them after we look at the kids which are in big plastic boxes is a list of other ways to improve themselves and science teachers. Most of the science teachers in elementary schools or teachers in elementary schools -- there we go.
Most of the teachers in elementary schools that teach science are unprepared. These days to get more than one quarter of method. My preparation was one quarter of method which involve looking at a textbook. I thought wow, is and is going to be cool? I got to school when I was hired as a textbook did not acknowledge that anyone had walked on the moon. At that textbook finally this last summer -- the last ones were taken out of my school. People are with their mouth open saying, can that be true? That can be true could we have moved into a world where people went to the science center and put together wonderful kits. And they do this and this is the result they are going to get into is not science. It is practice. So the things that, the teacher research experience is finding out that it does not go as planned always. It's okay if you learn from things that doesn't work.
I look at it as a grassroots effort to make teachers better teachers. If I work with students from the University of Washington as a mentor teacher and I tell them about experiences that will expand their knowledge and their background to teach science and get them excited about it, like their mentor ship now for the University of Washington I have bored with people going out to teach for America. I find that that is the way to get these teachers to understand that there is opportunities. They do not have to go back to school for three turns. It will help them expand their background and provide them with confidence that they can access scientists and teach their students.
A better measure of my success is the fact that I have students coming back to me from high school saying, Mrs. Pederson will you be my mentor for my high school graduation project? I want to teach kids about the family program or about the globe because that was really cool stuff we did when we worked with the weather. Those are things that show me that I am successful. I mean, I get a paycheck. Sometimes it grows each year and sometimes it doesn't. Windows students come back and I can look at the things that they remember about the classroom than I know the things I am doing is successful. I think the transfer piece that is most important is the fact that I can take the things that I have been working with students and take them to parents and take them to other teachers and say, this is where you need to go. It's a grassroots effort could we are talking about STEM TTP that's where we can make a big difference. We can provide ourselves with the background and the experience and -- teaching and that's what we can make a big difference to make others interested in what we are doing and have that informed electorate to get the backup. Thank you.
[ applause ]
Our next present -- presenter is Vinnie and he is a native of Baltimore. His bio does not say if he is an Orioles fan [ laughter ] he has an undergraduate degree in anthropology. He has a Masters of arts and science education from the University of Colorado Denver and where he earned the outstanding graduate of his class. He supports the middle and high school level in the Denver area. He has presented at TA conferences and has been profiled in several local publications with a focus on the education of students in represented sciences. His research experiences include fieldwork in Hawaii and Wyoming. I am sure every teacher will ask about how they are doing that one. And he recently participated in UC Denver's teacher research capstone project. Vinnie?
Thanks. First I want to point out that my colleagues that preceded me have quite a bit of experience and clearly established programs. Just listening to the presentation I garnered a lot of ideas on how I'm going to call Bush on what I am working on right now. I think it's important to first understand where I'm coming from. My motivation is an education. I grew up in a poor neighborhood and a lot of the same underprivileged things that many of you who raised her hand earlier seemed to have. I was influenced by some of those teachers. I had a myriad of opportunities to get out of the neighborhood, et cetera and one of the few who made it out.
By Will I have chosen in my career to come back to some of the more challenging areas to teach. I am currently teaching at Westminster high school which has the lowest state scores in the state. Because of that there are additional challenges the idea of transfer. If you can imagine having the worst scores means that the idea for teaching for the test is evasive. We do not even use the phrase because everything we talk about is how are we going to avoid the punishments are not improving the scores? With that having been said I do not particularly believe in that approach. By the same token I know the things that meant the most to me, got me interested in science and kept me captivated where my field experiences, research experiences. Anytime a teacher or professor does anything with me that has anything to do with science those are the things that kept me engaged. What happened in the textbook in between those sessions were irrelevant.
So because of my own personal experience, that has been a drive in this great endeavor and transfer what I had taken from my summer research experience and take that into the classroom. What I have found so far is that in bringing that into the classroom it has created both a fundamental change for both me and my colleagues in how we approach teaching and also it has created a certain understanding, certain empathy for where my students are asked. Perhaps some things I had forgotten over the years.
So for me coming back into the classroom after this experience, this has redefined my position. Now I am a teacher as a scientist as opposed to teacher as an educator. So if I can borrow from a great series of books called the story of science which I started to use as my textbooks. Taking a historical approach. What I have found is that my students although they have previously enjoyed the historical stories of science what they are interested is my story of my science. So much rather they would hear about Copernicus or Newton although their personal lives are interesting. What captivates them most is my good experiences and what I have done. In particular about the research process. Put pictures in front of them to have me in them. Being able to explain about dinosaur bones, for example. That is a great bit of discussion. There are immediate outcomes of this better not talk by learning from these topics. Looking at mechanical devices. Once that me and my professor have created and invented and designed myself that are not completed yet. Taking my students up to the point where my research has left off and having that generate questions that I cannot ethically put to the students and say, well, those questions we have not answered yet. Ones that I can put to my students and say, well, those are questions we have not answered yet.
One of the things I struggle with is action. By the Times most students reach me they have internalized the fact that they cannot be successful, these classes are not for the NPP will not graduate high school, will not be successful. To suddenly see something, that the teacher put --that the teacher is here and that is when students authentically becalmed interested in what is going on -- becalmed interested in what is going on.
We recognize constructivism as the current approach to science. As I would previously use constructivism in the sense that I would create a contrived question. Looking at the outcome, working backwards and creating a contrived question that would somehow lead us into the desired state standard. Instead what I found is it's more powerful to take research. So instead of the questions we have an authentic question. It is not necessarily have backward planning in mind. We are taking state standard, and they are somewhere in the middle. What the answer is, I do not know, because we are going to do some authentic research. That is something my bosses are still struggling with. They do not like that. But they are starting to come along. The more I can explain, the more a place I have, the more it makes sense to them -- the more this I have, the more it makes sense to them.
I emphasize not that I have been in a lab and at the University, I can tell them authentically all of this type is about 20% through skills. How are we going to get her students ready for the job place? How will we get them ready for college? For me that means authentic research is the place to go. If my students a problem, try it multiple times, multiple failures, not give up his sometimes they understand they may not get the answer but instead benefit from the process. If, in fact, they can do that I have given them a set of job skills. Whether that is on a construction site or in an office. And also having looked at the current university process I know that being able to problem solve and indicate failure or success is one of the things they are going to need on a college level.
With those things having been said I will tell you that two things that stick out for me the most that have to be done. One, that is as a teacher, you have to record. They have to take photographs. They have to collect experiences. There has to be a constant state of recording beyond what we would normally consider appropriate for a scientist. They have to record their experience as they go otherwise sharing it with the students may be lost. The whole effect may be lost. The second thing that needs to be done is collaboration and reflection on how that transfer in the classroom is going to look. Because my classroom is going to look significantly different than some of my colleagues who teach on the other side, if you will pay both of those applications are important. It is important, I have talked with my colleagues. I need to do some individual infection, perfect with them, and reflect with the mentor Blackley I am staying in contact with a continuing to work with as we talked earlier about sustainability. That is vital in order to make this transfer.
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Our final present or is Greg that he has been in middle school science teacher at 318 which is a Brooklyn kid when he is not teaching science he runs the track and robotics afterschool program. He graduated from Georgia State University with a bachelor's degree. Recently he got his masters degree at Pro College in education and special education. This past summer he participated in the Smart program which is that NYU Polytech in Brooklyn -- which is that NYU Polytech in Brooklyn.
Thinks that, Jay.
Is kind of funny that I presented last because I feel like it went backwards. I had the least experience. But anyway, I was done with this program in August. Has only been two months. I have not implemented it or have hard evidence yet that I have a pretty detailed plan and collaborating with a teacher at my school. This is the Smart program. No pressure. Okay so what is my -- Microtronics? Basically is a detailed statement of robots. Okay? Another thing is I am at the middle school level so you know something like this is going to motivate students.
So anyway, why mechatronics? This website is really good because it has a lot of teacher resources that have been created with different engineering topics. Basically it's a really good way to get students interested in engineering and the many different detailed parts of engineering and the science that makes them up. That is why it's a good idea to bring this into the science classroom. These are the polls, this is a brief snapshot of the goal . Basically introduce teachers to mechatronics. When we get that hands-on experience than we can bring it back to the classroom.
So basically, me and my colleague Russ Holstein, he is the computer teacher and I am the science teacher. Whenever we create these projects he is going to stick with him at the computer and circuitry. This parallax kit, in the first few weeks we are just dealing with the robotic kits and in the next four weeks we are doing specific research with the graduate students so five different disciplines. With those kits -- actually if you go to parallax.com all of the PDF files are free and they have good information about how to use each part of the kit. There are a lot of smart sensors. Something as basic as talking about iPhone's or iPod touches. You could start talking about how the iPhone works and if most of them do not have an iPhone they can play with one so that really motivates them.
Once we get to the science fair projects later on in the year which is in December/January when we start doing a lot of science fairs in class. Some of the kids might want to have a project using some of the sensors. Right now we have them -- have two kits. We'll try to get more of those kits in school. In inspiration is subjective. I had a student who was one of my most difficult students last year could he came up to me and started telling me about why all of these details of what he learned last year in science class. I do not even think I ever saw him pay attention to anything I would say never. This is something that is hard to quantify. But anyway. Okay.
So the first two weeks, this is my partner on the top left. This is a robot. The one on the top right is using infrared sensors. It can communicate with universal remote controls. The kids are creating this from putting the wires into the board and using multimedia to figure out what can work and what is dangerous. This is the loud that we worked in -- the lab that we worked in.
After those two weeks of robotics -- and those kits will be the main application or transfer into the classroom -- we spent four weeks on our disciplines. We did a lot of tests on these foams. I wanted to give you a snapshot of my experience so you can see how I was exposed to this and trying to bring it back. So the foams, sometimes designers will use it to make models and they foam is a foam that they create at the university. So basically two types of testing. This is what it looks like close-up, the PVC foam. The one on the right looks like this under electron microscope. The transfer is not necessarily a developed program but this is where it might be an anecdote. When we talk about the metric system and we talk about the different prefixes for the size of units and I can show them this and talk about how I use this electron microscope. And what is a micrometer? How big is a micrometer and things like that? These glassmaker balloons are in your hands they look like dust or white powder but up close they are tiny glass balloons.
All of the samples we used with this baby. 10 millimeters by 5 millimeters P there's a reason for that there's a lot of research that goes into why you use that size. The first was a controlled flow testing. This is only moving 1 milliliter per minute and you get a lot of detailed information to figure out how strong the material is. These are some graphs showing you -- the carping -- carbon anti-fiber cells, and this is how much stronger the carpet anti-fibers are. It was used as the Marines and air shuttles and those kinds of things.
So this is the dynamic testing. The testing before was very slow and controlled. Usually whenever companies release that data that is the only thing that they use. So this is much more stacked so you can figure out what is going to happen whenever something explodes or a bomb blows up next to a ship.
This is what it looks like on the last. This is not something you can buy -- other graduate students spend years and years calibrating this one machine and they read books about other ones. You cannot buy one. It's pretty cool that they have this.
This is the high-speed camera that takes up to 100,000 frames per second but we only did 7000. The robotics connection was the whole reason that we could do this was because of these strain gauges. This is the component that linked it all.
This is a video of it in slow motion of what it looks like. So does this tiny little spectrum that they are getting a lot of data. This happens in 1000 of a second. And in that they get 2500 data points. I got really good at Excel. I never thought that Excel could crash dummy times in one day.
[ laughter ]
The results were varied and shows how detailed science can be. This is the beginning of the study. So thank you NSF. This is the website for the parallax so you can see the kits and how much they cost if you want to get robotics for your school.
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We have time for a few questions. Please say your name. I see a hand all the way in the back there.
My name is Elizabeth Eubanks could I have a question for Vinnie. Why does the dinosaur bone stick to your hands?
Because it is porous. As the fossil is created, it is in the bone and a rock does not. It slides right off so if a scientific way to go into the fields.
[ laughter ]
Next question. In the back over there.
We have a lot of questions. I will start with the first one. I think actually it's for Marnie. I wanted to know with the teacher in the air program you said you were putting that their teacher -- you worked with another teacher did that make a difference for you? Did that help you in your transfer?
I think it did because we sat down and work together could we had a chance to do some planning and production together of the units that we developed. I think that was something that helped get it done because we were counting on each other getting it finished. The other thing is we can bounce off each other as we use and try out the things and how well they work. I feel it's important to field test things that you have before you use them and Dana and I have been able to bounce off each other how successful we are going to be.
I have many questions for you. You implied, I think that as teachers of the prepare students pretty well to be successful but you feel that you are better in a transfer in the future, better at describing the world as stem work the students as to what might be attractive for them to major in physics but then they get out into the real world as a practitioner and all of a sudden they do not like it. Do you feel because of research experience you are better able to give your students a better feel what it's like to work in the field?
I think that is a great question. To into that I would both reflect on my own experiences growing up to that is what I saw is much different than what I am seeing right now in the field. And likewise when I look at what we are doing in my K-12 environment. In conjunction with my colleagues, if it is not what is presently in the collegiate or working world. It is also not what I believe the future of science is going to look like. I would say absolutely my research gave me a lot of insight and a lot of sense to continue to learn about bats. To learn about what this looks like as a career path and what it will look like in the future and my goal is to continue to effectively replicate that as best as possible.
I noticed and it was in part because one of the gentlemen recognized that the projects -- you have also been through a little bit more experience with your research experiences. It seems more robust in your transfer to the classroom. Do you think that is a product of your juice in the classroom or multiple research experience -- your years in the classroom or multiple research experience?
I would not say it is used in the classroom -- years in the classrom, despite my age. I have been teaching for nine years. What a gift that is the level of enthusiasm that comes across as trying to build a program. Because I wanted my kids to have what I have working in the wetlands. Part of that because they came to teaching so late in my life I felt like I had a smaller window of opportunity to get things done so that kind of pushed me forward. I redesignated with Gloria Harper's talk the other day about the Golden Apple award for teachers. And I could see that enthusiasm coming across. That is how I feel about wanting to putting a product to the classroom that will be self-sustaining in the long run so the kids will continue to have these opportunities going forward.
I would have to say that it stems from teaching partly from the fact that I am looking at gaps in what my students are learning. Things like weather science they do in primary grades. They look at the calendar and put a cloud of if it's cloudy but do not start developing in a science background and my passion is for happy having people understand the world around them. I try to figure out ways to try to take what I experience to my students and have them develop the understanding. I tried to transfer that to other teachers as well. That understanding behind what you do is critical.
We have time for one more question.
I am Martin Shafer from Topeka, Kansas. My question goes for all of you guys. I believe what you guys are doing is great for the kids, will the way we need to go. -- the way we need to go. How do you manage to balance this inquiry type science with the content that needs to be covered over the course of the year?
My current approach to that is looking for every possible chunking and case study opportunity that is available. As I mentioned in my talk, we are the worst scores in the state and pressure is on. For me when I sit down with my state standards. Get rid of how my school is telling me how to cover and look to chunk them to gather and look for research questions that are voted on the front end where they can possibly be tackled along the way. Sometimes there are outliers. To me the paintings together, chunking them together -- lumping things together, chunking them together and any tasks all along the way to get their hands dirty in the research a lot of times they had opportunities outside of data collection or graphing. Like I said my bosses are not always exactly happy but in my mind I am investing the standards in an effective way.
One of the programs we already have, the robotics program and it's typically Legos. Now we will implement this into the afterschool program. I do not want to take time away from instruction. The class, we do share -- we ask the administration to share the year before. The class will likely be ahead of the curriculum could we will not do this with every single class, only classes that will be able to take the ball running. Any kids from the other classes that are interested can go to the afterschool program and develop an understanding.
One of the things that we have done is take the standards and grade level expectations for each of our elementary grades and turned them into K-16 and foam I depart from the prescribed materials I link those to the "I Can" statements -- turned them into "I Can" statements. I had people drop into my classroom. I had no idea when they were coming and they happened to drop in when my students were making weather instruments the other day. The comment I got back to them, we do not see it anywhere in the curriculum and we talked to the students and they are all using "I Can" statements with their goal appeared so I have to go to and in a way that meets those expectations for student learning. But you can do that.
I am so glad you addressed that question because as teachers we are all frustrated with this idea that we have to teach and get these kids ready to take a test and essay as educators we know that science cuts across all the curriculums. If you'll let a kid get engaged in science, there reading skills improve and math skills improve across the board. So when I take my kids out into the field and they are observing how things are happening, they are building skills to be able to take that test. They can think their way through a situation. They have to figure out how to -- whether it feels like they have to pull there wait out of the mud and it feels like a suction cup -- leg out of th emud.
Lee, T1 half science after school and I think that culture of being engaged in the science -- we, too have science after school to make science accessible and it helps us in everyday life.
It has been great hearing from the teachers. I thank them for their presentations.
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And now, Jennifer?
I have logistical things. Thank you again I really appreciate it. I want to ask everyone who has helped out facilitating or being a panel member, anyway that you have helped out this past 2.5 days I want to teach you for being patient with us because we probably did not provide you all of the instructions that we may have thought we did. And some of you may not have known that you were going to be in front of all of these people. We really appreciate your patience. I also wanted to let you know that we are not doing what we keep saying is the best thing hands-on activity outside. We are in a conference room with no windows so I will let you know it is pouring down rain outside. Just horrible. It's not going to be beautiful until 5:00 because remember NOAA does have the weather service parts of NOAA and the weather service told me they will make it rain until 5:00. You're not missing anything outside a promise.
We are about to break for lunch. This is similar to what we did yesterday could we have lunch from 12:30 to 1:30 could we will have our poster session at 1:30 p.m. we are having a scavenger hunt today. We have prizes, and they are not tickets. Lots of donations for all kinds of exciting things that I specifically want to acknowledge Diane works in the climate ocean climate observation program at NOAA and because of her program you guys have these great banks and you will have some of these prices out on the table that I will point out -- great bags a few guys will have some of these prices out in the table that I will point out.
[ event concluded ]