In This Issue
Theme: Technology in the Science Classroom
Letters to the Editor: "Global Warming’s Silver Lining" Bruce Calhoun
Notes: "Children’s Literature and the Science Curriculum" Marlow Ediger; "Portfolios in Science" Marlow Ediger; "Science Teachers, Media Specialists and an ITRT help their school become part of “The Green Generation” Deborah Marshall, Lisa Ward-McKnight, and Betsy Davis; "Using Time Wisely: When Students Become Teachers" Stuart G. McCausland and Aylia L. Kellam
From the Editor: Michele Lombard
Abstract: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are currently at the tip of the sword when it comes to education reform. Many K-12 reform agendas (as far back as Sputnik) have recommended educators concentrate on the advancement of teaching and learning within the STEM disciplines, more recently including interdisciplinary efforts. In response, university outreach programs are being developed that center on building networks within and between the university and K-12 education. The intent of these initiatives is to provide support to the youth and educators, and to inform university outreach activities and research directions. At Virginia Tech the VT-STEM K-12 Outreach Initiative has been charged with the coordination, collaboration, sustainability, and assessment of the K-12 STEM outreach efforts of the university. To better organize this, a study was conducted to identity the key elements that occur in each of these four categories. This paper reports on these key elements and attempts to identify a future direction for the VT-STEM K-12 Outreach Initiative. It also provides others interested in outreach with key elements for developing outreach efforts with K-12 educators and universities.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of SAS Curriculum Pathways (SIS) [module number 58 Can Sea Shells Explode?] Chemical Reactions, on 32 eleventh and twelfth grade chemistry students. Analysis of quantitative results using a t-test of pretest and post tests means found that after a unit was taught using SAS Curriculum Pathways students showed a significant increase (t = -7.0, p<.05) in their understanding of chemical reactions, specifically single replacement, double replacement, synthesis and decomposition. Quantitative results support the qualitative themes of, novelty of computer use in a science lesson, and the information quality and availability presented within the context of the simulations.
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