It was quite a week for our Spangler Science team when we invaded Texas with 24 staff members and Spangler Ambassadors. Half the team headed to Fort Worth for CAST (the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching) and half the team went to Dallas for NAEYC ( the National Association for the Education of Young Children). While our NAEYC team was launching Mentos geysers on the Boy in a Box, the CAST team also found a unique way to use the Geyser Tube… launching our favorite scientist, Beaker , 30-feet in the air in the Geyser Chamber. It was quite a sight at the Spangler Science booth when Beaker when shooting through the air on a stream of Diet Coke.
When the team wasn’t launching stuffed Muppets, they were busy talking with excited science teachers and even presenting workshops at the conference. Spangler Speaker Julie Gintzler presented her Chicka, Chicka – KABOOM workshop. The eager participants were more than a little excited when Julie pulled out the amazing Square Bubble and the “magical” Spot Dot Thumb… now there’s way
Once a year, Education students at Northwestern University, in Minnesota, get the opportunity to make a huge mess and learn a lot about making teaching exciting along the way. Spangler Science Ambassador, Lisa Schoneman normally teaches Kindergarten at Halverson Elementary in Albert Lea, Minnesota… but once a year she packs up her science tricks and heads to Northwestern to give pre-service teachers a chance to learn how to be amazing.
“The teachers get really excited about learning and usually bring what they learn from the workshop into the classroom and share the ideas with their cooperative teachers, where they are completing their field hours,” says Schoneman about her workshops.
This year, the university students learned about everything from color mixing to that infamous Mentos and Diet Coke Geyser. And, yes, they made a huge mess… but had a lot of fun… in the process.
Any teacher who can inspire a group of students to get up at 4:30 AM in order to be on live television is an amazing person. But it didn’t take long to see why his students like him so much… “He’s just a cool teacher who makes coming to class fun,” says one of his students as she launches a rubber bug across the room. Mad About Science is a television news series that we created at 9News KUSA-TV in Denver almost ten years ago as a way to recognize science teachers in Colorado who are getting their students excited about learning science. Tom Andrews hits the mark as an amazing science teacher at Goddard Middle School in Littleton, Colorado.
When you visit Mr. Andrews’ classroom, you can see that he practices what he preaches. “Science needs to be hands-on and engaging
Giant soap bubbles seem to be sweeping through schools everywhere these days, and our friends at Henny Penny Preschool recently sent us an update with some great shots of their kids in action. Amy and Craig Dolley are always looking for unique ideas to get their students excited about science and when they saw our giant soap bubbles they knew the activity would be a hit. From the look of this photo, I think they were right!
You may have seen the recent commercials showing a child raising flags representing America’s standing in school ranking world-wide. I came across an article for the same campaign that shared some striking, but unfortunately not surprising, statistics. According to the “One Nation Left Behind” program, 20 countries outscore the US in science education and 93% of US middle school teachers have little or no science training.
As standardized testing becomes key in schools nation-wide, the decline in science education becomes widely apparent. The Strong American Schools Website offers more staggering statistics and eye-opening quizzes that help drive home the point that our children are not receiving enough science education. Check it out and be prepared for some shocking results.
However, the One Nation Left Behind campaign is committed to creating awareness about the growing education problem in America… from science, to math, to English.. and offers opportunities to get involved in your community.