Take a bit of time to reflect on your own experience with learning Science. What do you remember most about the Science instruction you had?
When I was growing up science was always my favorite subject in school. I had a great love of the outdoors and learning more about living things. I remember always having a science textbook as a base of most of my instruction in middle school and high school. The days we had guests, went on field trips, and did hands-on experiments were always my favorite days. I remember I connected best with the science topics when my instructor had great enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject matter.
What do you remember fondly?
I had so many wonderful and vivid memories from my science classes. I recall in second grade I did a project on red foxes. I did my own research and created a model of an underground burrow with the fox inside. I was so proud of the project! Studying the planets was another fun topic in grade school. We visited a planetarium as a field trip to coincide with the unit. In elementary school there was a naturalist from the DNR who would come to talk to us about local species. In middle school I remember we learned about the PH scale and tested different liquids to see if they were an acid or base. I really enjoyed this experiment because at the time it made me feel like a “real chemist.”
What do you recall that was less than enjoyable? I remember in 7th grade we got to move into the science lab for class. I was so excited because we would be working on experiments involving chemistry and physics. I remember we had a huge textbook and large packets we would have the whole week to fill out. This was very disappointing. I don’t really remember much about middle school science. I think this was because we used our textbooks as the base of instruction and that did not interest me.
What impact has this had on your own teaching?
In my own teaching I have tried to rely less on textbook readings and worksheets. I have found that like myself students love to create projects based on their interests. They also love conducting experiments and playing games to help them learn vocabulary and concepts.