Virginia Association of Science Teachers

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In This Issue

Theme: Partnerships in Science Education

From the Editor: Michele K. Lombard

  • "Collaboration Builds Solid Foundations for Inquiry-based Exploration in First Grade"  Kari Abbott, Kelly A. Kelly, and Susan Powell 
Abstract:  Nature is the backdrop for learning for children at DJ Montague Elementary School in Williamsburg/James City County Schools. For the past three years a collaborative effort between the first grade, 4 -H, and Master Gardeners from Virginia Cooperative Extension has increased the children’s immersion in nature while also creating a solid foundation for scientific inquiry.
  • "Teacher Access to Mentors through Professional Scientist Organizations and the Virginia Science Resource Network (VSRN)"  David Anderson and Kathy Frame 
Abstract:  This paper centers on efforts by the Virginia Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), in conjunction with State and local educational organizations, to make mentors readily available to K-12 science teachers. The paper is intended to serve both as an announcement to K-12 science educators of new partnering efforts by the ACS, and to rally scientists for a grassroots effort focused on youth.
  • "Wolftrap Elementary’s Parents, Teachers, and Children: Partnering to Help Our World by Learning (HOWL)"  Elizabeth Burke 
Abstract:  Parents at Wolftrap Elementary School in Vienna, Virginia, volunteer to bring an innovative environmental education program into classrooms. What grows out of the HOWL (Helping Our World by Learning) program is a coordinated indoor and outdoor environmental education program that ensures no child is left inside.
  • "Meeting Science Standards through Inquiry -Based Instruction: Building Scientific Literacy through Critical Thinking in Informal Learning Environments"  Nagla Fetouh 
Abstract:  As states re-evaluate long lists of standards dominated by discussions about content depth versus breadth, teachers continue to struggle to creatively integrate standards into their curricula and to build a student-centered classroom. Informal learning environments provide opportunities for teachers to take student learning outside of the classroom, actively engaging students to independently seek knowledge. One local opportunity for Virginia teachers sits in the heart of Washington, DC. The Marian Koshland Science Museum has developed inquiry -based field trips that engage students through critical thinking for teachers to build into their curricula.
    • Reviews: A review of five articles from the February 2008 issue of Phi Delta Kappan, Greg Corder; A review of The American Heritage Student Science Dictionary from Houghton Mifflin and Seeds of Science: Roots of Reading from Delta Education, Michele K. Lombard

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