Next Generation Science Standards will require elementary school teachers to be more well-rounded and have a deeper understanding of science concepts. In fact, graduates with a math or science emphasis are more marketable on the job market these days. This is one of the most fun courses I teach, and even though it has nothing to do with meteorology, to become a meteorologist, I had to take a large number of physics and chemistry courses. I also come from a family of K-12 teachers and I understand the challenges they come across on a daily basis. I'm here to make science fun and accessible to everyone in the course so these people can go out and inspire a generation of future scientists and engineers, especially girls! We cover a chapter a week in a fun, cartoony book used for both semesters of the course, as well as do a lab on the topic. Some labs involve creating graphs in Excel, which I teach students how to use. Other labs might include fun chemical reaction observations or creating a periodic table or figuring out which pulley system is the most efficient for lifting. (See below for a sample schedule.)
I think scientific literacy is the key to a successful society, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help teachers help me create this society. As the Next Generation Science Standards come online, I'd be happy to help offer continuing education courses on any of the topics local teachers need most. Contact me if you want to partner in organizing a course for Colorado teachers! I'm particularly interested in helping teachers get up to speed on climate issues.
Description: The course examines the nature of energy and matter, their interactions and changes, and the application of fundamental scientific concepts to the study of our natural world. These concepts are explored through hands-on laboratory experiments that focus on basic physics and chemistry principles. (Prerequisites: Minimum performance standard scores on reading and writing preassessment tests and MTH 1610 or equivalent)