Tag - Hands on Science
April 21, 2011
President Barack Obama held a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters on Wednesday… and his comment about making science cool caught my attention.
“I’m frustrated by stories about how we can’t find enough engineers and computer programmers. That means our education system is not working. That’s why we are emphasizing math and science,” Obama said, noting efforts to “make science cool” for minorities and women.
Here’s my open letter to President Obama…
Mr. President, the comment you made at yesterday’s town hall meeting about “making science cool” kept me awake last night because I realized that I actually have something to offer you in the way of a solution to achieve your goal. I was reminded of Don Herbert (the original Mr. Wizard) who made science come alive for millions of kids during the 1950s and 60s. That was exactly what our country needed during the time that followed Sputnik – inspirational people like Don Herbert who made science fun for kids.
Today, we’re faced with a different set of problems that require creative solutions targeted not at the
November 8, 2010
Contributed by Guest Blogger, Nancy Leemer
I remember coming to the NAEYC Conference years ago and watching Steve Spangler present his hands-on science activities to a room of 50 or so early childhood educators, but those days are long gone. That intimate workshop experience in the past has given way to a ballroom packed with a few thousand teachers who are wondering what he’s going to do this time.
“I saw Steve last week on the Ellen Show and didn’t even know he was going to be at this conference,” said Shawna Dematre, a second year teacher from an early learning center outside of Nashville. “When I saw his name on the program, I wanted to come to the session to see how I can do more science experiments for my kids.”
When Steve hit the stage, the audience had already been treated to twenty minutes of simple science experiments and other video clips from Spangler’s website. Within five minutes from the start of the program, pieces of potatoes were already flying through the audience and he was setting up his main themes:
- The difference between good teachers and great teachers is that the great ones know how to create unforgettable learning experiences.
- Just because kids
May 31, 2009
Michael Buckley didn’t wake up in the morning expecting to touch 50,000 volts of electricity, but he did… and here’s why
November 7, 2008
Our workshop team always enjoys a trip to Dallas… especially when the workshop is at the Gaylord Texan. By now you’d think that the hotel would understand that velvet table cloths and brightly colored liquids probably are not a good mix. Nearly 250 teachers attended the Dallas Hands-on Science Boot Camp ranging from early childhood through high school (but the vast majority of teachers fell into the pre-K through 5th grade range). Before the workshop starts, I make it a point to talk to as many participants as possible and ask them what they expect to take away from the workshop. The Dallas teachers shared a common response… “I want to find ways to get my kids excited about science and engaged in their own learning.”
Shanna Morris from Little Elm, Texas attended the workshop because she wanted to find a way to make teaching science more fun for herself. “After 22 years in the classroom, I want to find a way to re-ignite my own spark for teaching science. If I’m having fun and learning, I believe that it will rub off on the kids.
October 21, 2008
The audience of teachers (PreK-Middle School) was especially lively during our Hands-on Science Boot Camp in Tampa. The turn-out was great with over 180 teachers packed into the ballroom at the Westin Hotel and each teacher had his or her own reasons for attending. One third grade teacher told me that her school had cut her science time down to less than an hour per week. She was told to “integrate science into her curriculum” if she wanted more time for the “secondary” subject. Other educators (and a handful of home schooler and science museum program coordinators) attended in hopes of taking away some new hands-on science activities in an effort to spice up their existing curriculum.
It was also great to see Rhonda Newton and her cadre of teachers at the Tampa Boot Camp. Rhonda connected all of the science activities from the workshop to the Florida State Science Standards and shared it with the group. Huge thanks from everyone!
Download the Spangler Science Connection to the Florida Science Standards
As we wrap up the workshop at the end of the day, I often wish that I could pull the same group of teachers back together three to six months later to see if the learning objectives and teaching strategies really had an impact. We’ve all attended workshops or presentations where we laughed a lot and had a great time, but what was the take action message behind all of the fun… and did it change the way I teach? In other words, can a science education speaker do more than provide a motivational message during a day-long workshop?
Desh Bagley answered my questions when she was interviewed by CnewsPubs.com a few weeks after attending the Tampa Hands-on Science Boot Camp. Bagley is an informal science educator is owns and operates TechPlayZone, a science and technology center for young people. Desh understands the need for finding creative ways to get kids excited about learning science. Here’s what she had to say…