Some people may consider me a science geek (in a good way). Finding online articles about interesting natural phenomena, new scientific discoveries, and innovative inventions entertains me. During my daily life I often apply science and engineering concepts, such as putting salt in my pasta water or sprinkling it on an icy sidewalk to alter boiling and melting temperatures. I find myself using science and engineering practices to figure out an answer for a question I'm wondering about or to solve a problem I'm experiencing. We feed birds and squirrels on our decks. I think of them through different lenses (cross cutting concepts that apply to all science disciplines). I observe patterns of behavior; consider the inputs, interactions, and outputs of the system, and marvel at the body structures of these creatures that let them function (survive).
So as a science geek, I really love science and use it all the time. However, I'm even more excited about encouraging elementary and middle school students to love, learn, and use science to answer their questions and solve their problems. As a tutor I will strive to meet the needs of my customers. Though lecturing is not my preferred instructional method, I can produce an effective informational slide presentation if that works best for my students. I prefer to present an interesting phenomenon to the learner(s) who then identify what they notice and wonder about it. With my guidance the student or class identifies questions or problems for further investigation. This student-centered instructional approach supports engagement. Learner(s) would much rather figure out answers to their own questions than complete a teacher-made assessment. I'm an advocate for student sense-making, the three-dimensional approach to teaching and learning in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) builds to that goal. With appropriate teacher support, learner(s) use Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts to construct Disciplinary Core Ideas to figure out an explanation for the Phenomenon.
My academic preparation in science education includes:
BA in Natural Science from Case Western Reserve University
M.Ed. in Science Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston
Ed.D. in Science Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston
During my long career as a science educator I've had many roles, including:
Science teacher in K-8 classrooms.
Peace Corps Volunteer teaching science to future primary school teachers.
Planetarium teacher for 4th and 8th graders (up to 300 at a time).
Curriculum developer: projects and activities for NSF Grant, Challenger Center, Young Astronauts
District Level Science Coordinator
Director of Saturday Science, a family enrichment program (Grades 3-8)
Assistant Professor of Science Education
Coauthor of 3 revisions of Elementary Science Methods Text Book.
Science Specialist at LEARN, a Regional Educational Service Center
Provider of Professional Development for K-12 teachers of science (NGSS and Inquiry)
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Case Western Reserve University - Bachelor in Arts, Natural Sciences
Graduate Degree: University of Houston - Doctor of Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Elementary/Middle School Science Curriculum & Instruction, Implementing NGSS, Helping students figure out the world around them, Astronomy, Travel, Cooking, Cats.
Elementary School Science
Middle School Science