Secondary science preservice teachers from the School of Education under the guidance of Meredith Kier, assistant professor of education, presented at the 3-day Virginia Association Science Teachers (VAST) conference last November.
The students presented “Framing Secondary Science in Project Based Learning" (PBL) to highlight using the new teaching technique, project or problem based learning, in science education. By developing lesson plans focused on a real-world phenomenon or event, students, working in groups would use “The Five E’s” (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate) to investigate and solve the problem. The presentation emphasized actively engaging students to solve real-world problems, thus teaching them life skills.
Presentations by major science corporations, including National Geographic and NASA, inspired the future teachers to look beyond traditional science education to teach their students about science actively used in the world such as exploration and forensics.
The conference was also a chance for the preservice teachers to talk with experienced science teachers about lesson plans and classroom management. Hannah Basl ’17, M.A.Ed. ’18 described leaving the conference feeling “rich in new teaching strategies and inspiration from current teachers whom expanded our knowledge of classroom tools.”