Science Coordinator at CES

  • As the new CES science coordinator, I will collaborate with our teachers to nurture our students’ understanding of science and a love of learning.

     

    First and foremost I will strive to cultivate our children’s natural curiosity and excitement about the natural and physical worlds around us. As keen observers, children are natural scientists. Walking through the woods or at the beach kids see and hear more than adults. They notice the most subtle things. They are curious and ask questions. I love working with children in large part because they are unafraid to ask questions. I am excited for the opportunity to teach science to CES students – and to learn with them.

     

    I am a resource and a partner for CES teachers teaching science. Teaching science well, can be challenging as well as time consuming. Teaching elementary school is demanding as teachers need to be masters of many subjects. Sometimes science curriculum is put on the back burner if its a subject to which one is not naturally drawn. I am eager to work together with teachers to identify relevant science topics, co-develop lesson plans and integrate them into other subjects being taught. Developing our children’s interest in and understanding of science doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right support, teachers will be more able to help students learn and love science. Their success in the classroom is my top priority.

     

    It is another important aspect of my position to align CES science with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). NGSS is a new innovative method for teaching science, de-emphasizes earlier approaches such as rote memorization, reading from text books and answering questions, following scripted laboratory experiments and using the scientific method as the only technique for solving problems and making scientific inquiry.   NGSS engages students by presenting core disciplinary ideas that use current science and engineering practices. This approach much more closely reflects how scientists approach a scientific inquiry, encourage claims based on evidence and teach units that are relevant to students and the world they live in.

     

    For example rather than teaching about sound waves by reading text books and learning definitions of waves, amplitude, wavelength and frequency, students will be presented with a video of an opera singer who breaks a wine glass with his/her voice and then ask students to speculate and discuss what occurred and why. Through science and engineering practices students will undertake research, create models, theorize and investigate what they think happened. Teachers will help guide and inspire students to explain what happened by asking leading questions. Students learn that all claims must be supported with evidence.

     

    If you have questions about Next Generation Science Standards, please visit http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards. To view the Framework K-12 science education the foundation of NGSS please visit http://www.nextgenscience.org/framework-k%E2%80%9312-science-education or contact me at abogaard@vashonsd.org

     

    The NGSS approach is the result of many years of research. Research indicates learning science through the outdoors, inquiry, observation and experimental play is the best way to capture students’ attention. As the new science coordinator ½ of my job is to manage the CES garden, pond and forest. I am excited to have the opportunity to use these areas as a dynamic science laboratory that is accessible to all students.