Science : K-8 Teacher’s Workshop  

September 02, 2015
On July 16th area elementary teachers had the opportunity to join me at ESU 10 for a rare chance to experience a day of science focused activities and exploration. Teachers from Preschool to 6th grade took advantage of a day specifically spotlighting elementary science education. We worked together to make science an even more amazing experience for young students! 

Participants were engaged in ready-for-the-classroom activities connected to the Nebraska State Science Standards. We explored engineering activities, science fair 101, ways to use technology in the classroom, virtual field trips, overview of the Next Generation Science Standards, and time to collaborate with fellow educators.

John Stritt, NASA Glenn Research Center, and Agate Fossil Beds shared information about the distance learning opportunities available. Virtual field trips can fill the void tight budgets, location, transportation, time and resource restrictions have put on field trips outside the classroom. 

Teachers had the opportunity to learn about Makey Makey kits with Nathan McClenahan. They have the ability to turn everyday objects into touchpads and then combine them with the internet. Makey inspired the ever growing Maker Movement.

Jami Schaffnit shared her experience blending science into other curricular areas such as math, reading, and writing. She also shared the benefits of using science notebooks and technology to enhance any science curriculum.

Teachers participated in several engineering activities. A favorite activity amongst Preschool-3rd grade teachers was creating spider webs using the book “The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle to set the stage. Participants also designed and built a maze through which light could travel to a designated target to demonstrate the concept of angle of reflection. Light mazes met multiple inquiry and physical science indicators on the Nebraska State Standards.  

Throughout the day teachers had the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers in similar grade levels and share ideas on how to incorporate the days information into the fast approaching school year. After a successful day I look forward to being able to offer this opportunity again next year! 

-by Dianah Steinbrink, Teaching and Learning Coordinator