She next went to work in Newton, MA, where much of the cutting-edge curricula created with NSF funding was in use. There, Terry learned about Elementary Science Study (ESS) materials developed by the Education Development Center (EDC) and connected with inquiry-based science curriculum that engaged students in science starting in kindergarten. Terry emphasizes the importance of student-driven, inquiry-based learning, beginning with the youngest children saying, “I think kids are naturally curious. Effective science education builds on this desire to observe, explore, and ask questions.”
A newly-created K-8 Science Supervisor position in Brookline was a perfect fit for Terry for the next nine years. However, the 1982 Proposition 2 ½ tax-cutting measure resulted in much upheaval in Massachusetts including administrative cuts in order to save classroom positions. Terry saw this as an opportunity to push forward education developments. So after spending a year with a text-book publisher in Illinois, Terry returned to Massachusetts where she worked on first-generation linguistic software (i.e., spelling correctors in English and other world languages) at Houghton Mifflin. It was there that Terry’s supervisor introduced her to Emily V. “Paddy” Wade and MITS, Inc. (now the Wade Institute), the organization Paddy founded to connect informal science educators to classroom teachers in support of hands-on, minds-on, inquiry-based science instruction.
Thinking back on her time on the Board and considering the current educational landscape, Terry says, “If anything, the Wade Institute has become even more important since the relentless push for high-stakes standardized testing has displaced time devoted to careful observations, experimentation, and problem-solving. Teachers, once again, need to be empowered to promote true science inquiry, where the solution can only stand until new evidence contradicts the prevailing theory.” Due to her work with cutting-edge curricula throughout her career in science education, Terry brings her critical eye for effective STEM education tools and techniques to the Wade Institute Board. Her enthusiasm for science education is so extensive that she excels at exciting even non-educators to take an interest in inquiry-based, hands-on, minds-on STEM education and to support teachers through professional development provided by the Wade Institute for Science Education.