After reading a white paper put out by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - Scientist-Teacher Partnerships as Professional Development: An Action Research Study, I began to think of the continuous push in our educational system on STEM. What's the most effective method of increasing student awareness in science?
Reflecting on my own teaching practices and the weakness I had in regards to teaching science concepts, I feel like I would have excelled with the assistance of a professional in the field. More importantly, my students would have excelled with the understanding of value and real world importance of science research, topics, and more. A true project-based learning model.
Science alone can be engaging for students, especially with the integration of hands-on lab experiments. But time is of the essence in the classroom. How do we continue to engage our students without having time to complete an experiment?
No matter what I will always return to the power of technology and open-ended creativity software.
Giving students a platform to construct their own way of being with the curriculum will continue to have them wanting to learn more. A beautiful addition to this would be the possibility of having all teachers interact with a scientist of sort and do their own action research. Turning their entire science curriculum into a laboratory of research and curiosity.
I encourage educators to find local scientists of sorts to work with on a unit of study. Better yet, turn this experience into your own action research study. Change what is not working and evolve as an educator. For support on how to improve classroom practice, check out this article on action research.