Is it possible for science education to begin in the kitchen? How will craft store supplies help to teach Earth science? Jennifer Ricciuti, Nadezda Mease and Carly Lauzonis of St. Peter R.C. School in Lewiston are getting ready to "bring back the wonder" in science and show how science is happening all around us and can be experienced using very common supplies.
All three teachers, pictured, have recently become members of STANYS, the Science Teachers Association of New York State, and have spent the summer preparing to present a workshop for the state conference, which takes place Nov. 1-3 in Rochester (www.stanys.org).
At the state conference, Lauzonis and Ricciuti will focus on elementary-level science, using song and dance with the integration of math and literacy through the use of "read-alouds" and the infusion of challenging topics through hands-on exploration with age-appropriate experiments.
One of their experiments includes using red cabbage juice as a chemistry indicator focused on acids such as acid rain. They said they hope to get fellow teachers involved in creating a high energy, "performance"-style presentation of material for young scientific minds and allow students to take more control of their own learning through questioning and discovery through an interdisciplinary STEM focus.
Mease, who teaches middle school and Regents Earth science, will focus her presentation on Earth science topics such as phases of the moon, rising and setting time of the moon, and the Earth's seasons. Although these topics can be difficult for some students, this set of lessons will provide an opportunity for students to learn while imitating motions of the moon, Earth and sun by their own movement around the classroom.
Students remember most of the information by "doing," teachers said, so why not get up and move like the moon? In addition, a technology-integrated lesson on the day and night cycle for the iPad will be demonstrated in this kinesthetic lesson.