Teachers tested activities from the student perspective and gained valuable insights through first-hand learning experiences.
“A few teachers were extremely enthusiastic about our ‘questioning’ activity: providing learners with a collection of related objects (reflective objects, objects from the sea, various powders with different properties, etc.), and collecting their questions using a specific protocol.” – Brianna Wilkinson, MITS Assistant Director of Education
Since the participating teachers taught diverse science disciplines and grade levels, activity topics covered a wide range. Examples included building electrical circuits, modeling chemical reactions, engineering the best coffee cup, and solving a mystery with forensic techniques. Formative assessment tools were also provided during the workshop as means of continually “checking in” on student progress (as opposed to summative assessment that is typically administered at milestones, like the end of a lesson, unit, or year). To apply their experiences, participants developed lesson plans adapting their current curriculum to add more inquiry opportunities and designing new activities that lead to student-directed (open inquiry) investigations. Teachers left the workshop with smiles, but the real results will be seen when students are exposed to these re-imagined inquiry-based science lessons.
“I got a tremendous amount of ideas and resources this past week. I look forward to using many of these practices and inquiry next year.” – Rhonda Masciarelli (O’Donnell Middle School, 6th Science)