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ERIC Number: EJ1155491
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
Scientists Overnight
Pike, Lisa
Science and Children, v55 n1 p48-52 Sep 2017
In this article, the author describes how a partnership was established to bring science and education majors together with elementary school children in an after-school STEM program. This partnership allowed preservice teachers and science majors to have fun with science and to learn science informally, in a nonclassroom, low-stress environment--no on-the-spot questions, testing, or homework. The undergrads got to be the teacher of a science topic. This opportunity gave the undergrads an arsenal of science they could do and feel comfortable with. More important, it gave them confidence in modeling the "Next Generation Science Standards" ("NGSS") science and engineering practices (SEPs). This is what the STEM nights described in this article were designed to do; they were not so much a lesson on a particular standard but an exercise in practicing and reinforcing the SEPs (for children and preservice teachers alike). The partnership fit the bill for Francis Marion University's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) project, which aims to get students into nontraditional settings, because the undergraduates would be learning science, practicing teaching, and experiencing an actual classroom. The class ran for a full year, and the college students would meet twice a month for 2-3 hours each time. At the first meeting each month, science faculty would explain the STEM family challenges (one big challenge plus several smaller "openers"). At the second meeting, held at an elementary school, the college students facilitated the STEM family night. Generally 15 families attended the STEM family nights. They began with brief openers by the college students. Families are then presented with an activity emphasizing experimental design, identifying variables, replication, looking for patterns in data, and stressed how the data supported the preservice teachers' claims. Each family had 45 minutes to complete the challenge. Afterward, each family discussed the data and showed their results or finished product. The article concludes with a discussion of challenges faced and safety considerations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A