NCSEteach is a unique resource for science teachers. The monthly NCSEteach newsletter goes out to over 6,000 teachers nationwide and the Scientist in the Classroom program fosters collaborations between professional scientists and educators. This year, three teachers were awarded a rafting trip down the Grand Canyon in 2017, and shared their experience through the NCSE blog (Marie Story, Nate Chisholm, and Robyn Witty).
We are proud of our teachers, and the work they are doing!
2017 has been a great year for the Science Booster Club Program. Thanks to the support of our donors, the efforts of our volunteers, and the enthusiasm of our staff, we’ve succeeded in our national expansion. From serving over 50,000 people in Iowa in 2016, we’re scheduled to serve over 120,000 people across ten states in 2017. As you can see in the map below, we are working in a broad, largely connected area stretching from Nebraska to the Eastern seaboard.
The National Center for Science Education works to ensure that every student gets the science education they need to become informed and engaged citizens when they grow up. We help teachers cover evolution and climate change accurately and completely, especially in communities where the topics are highly contentious. Our Science Booster Clubs provide community members with an easy way to bring fun and accessible hands-on evolution and climate change activities to public events. We vigilantly monitor any interference in the integrity of science education.
My advice of the day?
Never pass up a chance to hang out with science teachers!
The occasion was the 2017 awards luncheon of the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA). The National Center for Science Education was being honored with the 2017 Distinguished Contributions Award, for our work supporting the California Science Framework review process, and our help in providing teachers with guidance about how to respond to the Heartland Institute’s mailing of misleading climate propaganda to California teachers. It was awfully nice of CSTA to recognize NCSE since in my view, it’s teachers who deserve the accolades.
One of the most satisfying components of the NCSE Science Booster Club program is its microgrant program, in which some of the funds raised by the booster clubs are given away to teachers so that they can provide their students with more hands-on science experiences. In my last blog post, I wrote about some of the teachers who received basic measurement equipment through the Fall 2017 SBC microgrant program.
Every teacher knows that students take more interest in lessons that relate to things they care about. Well, it’s safe to say that, right now, students in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, care deeply about hurricanes. And students in California care profoundly about wildfires. That means that teachers—as they carry out their vital and underappreciated work giving students a sense of normalcy—have an opportunity to turn their students’ very real and recent experiences into learning opportunities. At NCSE, we’re hoping to gather anecdotal evidence that teachers are using recent events as a bridge to exploring how scientists evaluate the contributions of climate change to extreme weather and weather-related events. We hope to discover that teachers are finding ways to enhance how they cover climate change in their classrooms—once they can finally get back into them.
Kyle McElroy is a graduate student at the University of Iowa who has been working with the Science Booster Club program since the summer of 2015. This is a blog post about his recent experiences in Des Moines.
This fall, thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, we were able to provide ten science teachers with equipment they need to give their students a chance to experience science for themselves. Our conversations with teachers across the state of Iowa during our pilot phase, and now nationwide since our national expansion, indicate that many teachers lack the scientific equipment they need to teach even basic scientific principles, much less complex concepts like evolution and climate change.
Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, honored me with an honorary degree at its Academic Convocation on September 15, 2017. The following is the third (and final) installment of a lightly edited version of my talk on that occasion. In part 1, after introducing myself and NCSE, I described the issues in Kitzmiller v. Dover, and in part 2, I discussed the testimony offered by the expert witnesses for the plaintiffs and Judge John E. Jones III’s decision.
Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, honored me with an honorary degree at its Academic Convocation on September 15, 2017. The following is the second installment of a lightly edited version of my talk on that occasion. In part 1, after introducing myself and NCSE, I described the issues in Kitzmiller v. Dover, the 2005 trial over the constitutionality of teaching “intelligent design” in the public schools, presided over by Judge John E. Jones III.