For a long time, science (and math, and technology, and…) have been taught in a way that does not engage most students. A teacher presents an underlying scientific principle, often in a neat, abstract equation form, and then after students do some rote repetition of said formula, the teacher might present a few real-life examples in order to make it all seem “real.” However, those applications mentioned aren’t necessarily relevant to the students’ life, interests, or curiosities. They fail to engage.
The Next Generation Science Standards* (NGSS) encourage teachers to flip this old regime on its head. Instead of beginning with an abstract scientific concept, lecture, and/or memorization, the NGSS recognizes that you—like any presenter or actor—must first engage your audience. The NGSS humanize students, respect their curiosity, and urge teachers to first tap into students’ interest in... Read More
In Baja, Ecology Project International's home base in Mexico, the turquoise crescent of the Gulf of California is framed by desert—an impossible contrast of translucent waters against a wind-sculpted rockscape. At first glance, you might think it was empty of life, but under the surface of the water is a vibrant jungle. Eight hundred species of fish thrive here—77 of which are endemic, meaning they are found nowhere else on earth. Nearly 5,000 species of invertebrates, from bristling sea stars to iridescent mantis shrimp, creep along the bottom or float in the current.
Around 70 million years ago, near the age of the extinction of dinosaurs, the Colorado River was born. As it grew, it channeled trillions of gallons of fresh water and nutrients into the growing Gulf of California. In the past century, however, the development of the Hoover and Glen Canyon Dams among... Read More
Professional development can give science teachers fresh perspectives, new curricula, exciting travel, teambuilding opportunities, and most importantly—renewed inspiration. Every teacher deserves to participate! Unfortunately, many programs are competitive and writing a successful application can be difficult.
So we asked a few of our own EPI Teacher Fellows for advice on how YOU can get into the best teacher trainings, fellowships, and professional development out there. Toward the end, our own Fellowship Experience Coordinator weighs in on what makes her take a second look at applicants to EPI’s Teacher Fellowship program.
1. Start locally
Professional development opportunities are available by the thousands, yet some of the best-known programs garner thousands of competitive applications each year. Betsy Craske, the 5th/6th STEM teacher at Sussex School in Missoula, Montana, who recently participated in the Wings Over Water Summer Institute, suggests starting locally with professional... Read More