Summer Institute 2011

What happens when owl pellets, night crawlers, and eager teachers are gathered together in one room? One may hear conversation, excitement (and a few screams), but most of all, a whole lot of learning takes place. These are just a few examples of the numerous, hands-on activities in which the “Science Matters” team engaged in during the Rockhurst Summer Science Institute. Throughout the two-week classes, a cohort of teachers from Blue Springs, Center, Hickman Mills, and Wellington-Napolean school districts strived to discover what truly matters most about science and education.

During the first week of the “Science Matters” Institute, the cohort worked very closely with the authors of Picture-Perfect Science Lessons, Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan. Through the integration of children’s literature and scientific inquiry, the “Science Matters” teachers developed a stronger understanding of how to make science more meaningful and exciting for their students. These teachers engaged in hands-on learning experiences, guided by the BSCS 5E Instructional Model, in order to encourage a sense of wonder within their own students.

While learning about incorporating more meaningful science strategies into their classrooms, the “Science Matters” team worked with professors from Rockhurst University to expand their knowledge of many scientific concepts. Together the team uncovered common science-related misconceptions and explored ways to address these misconceptions with their students. At the end of the summer institute, each teacher used the knowledge gained from this experience to create an engaging science unit to be used and shared with other educators.

The name says it all; The “Science Matters” cohort is truly a team of educators striving to discover and teach about why “science matters.”



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