Workshops

I have developed a workshop and lecture series for science teachers working with the elementary, middle, secondary, and higher education populations. I can also provide engaging talks on science education for your conference or event. With the introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards, teachers are faced with the responsibility of teaching scientific reasoning and process skills and then assessing student development in these skills. I can help! I can tailor an entire program for your group on the subject of science thinking and practice or provide an expert speaker for your event on a topic in science education. Below are some examples of our workshop and lecture series.

Workshops

Creating Scientists: Teaching and Assessing Science Thinking and Practice

A student’s ability to think and practice like a scientist has received renewed attention in primary, secondary, and university classrooms throughout the world. Pedagogies are necessary whereby students learn to engage in authentic science practice, and assessment strategies are needed to determine if instruction is working. During this workshop, participants will learn about research-verified pedagogies that explicitly target reasoning and process. Furthermore, they will learn new assessment strategies for measuring student learning in these areas. Students will develop a framework for “authentic research experiences” that they can use in their classrooms to engage students in scientific practice and facilitate the application of learned concepts to the analysis of new, complex phenomena. Specific topics include developing the scientific reasoning pattern of hypothetico-deductive reasoning, working within specific experiment categories, and developing good scientific documentation skills.This series has 10 two-hour workshop sessions in total. These sessions are interactive, with participants working with the same materials and learning strategies their own students would experience in their classrooms. I can do a week-long “boot” camp at your location, or space session over a more extended period of time. I can tailor this program for your group by offering a smaller selection of topics, shorter lectures on a specific topic, or I can expand a specific area for more focus.
Session 1: A framework for scientific thinking and practice in the physics classroom
Session 2: What is scientific reasoning and how is it measured
Session 3: Making reasoning explicit: If … and … then …
Session 4: Making reasoning explicit: relative value of evidence
Session 5: What is science process, how do you teach it, and how do you know if it is learned?
Session 6: Making process explicit: Observation experiments
Session 7: Making process explicit: Testing experiments
Session 8: How to assess process skills
Session 9: The value of scientific documentation and writing across the curriculum
Session 10: Implementation of thinking and practice in the traditional physics classroom

​Re-imagining the lab: Going from cookbook labs to authentic research experiences

The “cookbook” lab where students follow pre-made instructions and write down predetermined answers for a pre-determined research question just don’t work. There are volumes of data showing that the traditional approach to the science laboratory leads to marginal gains in learning content, and in some cases, negative gains in reasoning and process skills. I can develop a workshop for your group that shows participants how to completely redevelop their labs into authentic and engaging experiences that lead to research-verified learning. I can base these workshops on any content in the standard physical science curriculum and can tie the material directly to the standards for your state. Each workshop will be highly interactive, with participants working through authentic research experiences just like students. I can put together a series, or do just one session.Below are some topics that I have covered with teacher groups in the past:
Developing a model for electric circuits
Hidden electric circuit: an authentic research experience in one class period
Developing a model for work and energy
Black box: a context-independent authentic research experience in one class period
Optics and the cone of light
Testing the “Kindergarten Sun” ray model of light
Spinning tubes: a context-independent authentic research experience in one class period

Lectures

Does your organization need an engaging speaker for your conference or event? I can speak on a wide range of topics in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in the United States of America, and worldwide. Here are some examples of topics that I can speak on for your group:
The Next Generation Science Standards: What are they and why are they awesome?
Creating scientists: Teaching how to think and practice like a scientist
Pushing past thresholds to learning
How we learn and why school sometimes fails
STEM education in the USA: The good, the bad, and the ugly
How the migrant crisis in Europe is affecting education
How robots are changing the way your kids learn
Why its awesome when your kids break stuff

​and many more …

Contact me

For more information, send me an email through the contact page here.