P-SPINS Research in K-6 Science Curriculum Development
Krista Adams and Jocelyn Bosley
Collaboration between researchers of Nebraska MRSEC and pre-service elementary science teachers is aimed at connecting MRSEC research in materials and nanoscience with the science curriculum at elementary schools in Lincoln, NE. Through this collaboration, pre-service elementary science teachers are introduced to basic concepts in nanoscience through a combination of targeted activities, with the premise that a better understanding of scientific research will allow teachers to feel more confident teaching science to their students, spurring curiosity about the physical sciences and inspiring the next generation of materials scientists.
MRSEC Investigator Krista Adams and MRSEC Education/Outreach Coordinator Jocelyn Bosley have spearheaded these activities, which included tours of MRSEC labs for students in Adams’ Elementary Science Methods course, demonstrations of concepts and methods in nanoscience, and the development of lesson plans to implement in after-school clubs at elementary schools. A highlight was a workshop in which MRSEC undergraduate researchers helped Adams’ students to refine the scientific content of their lesson plans. Results from the first iteration of this collaboration are being used to develop instructional guides that will enable future teachers to implement similar strategies in their own classrooms. These lessons were chronicled on the Nebraska MRSEC PSPINS vlog and can be found here: https://youtu.be/MYnwPJi4L_0.
These programs are supported by the National Science Foundation, Division of Materials Research, Materials Research Science and Engineering Program, Grant 1420645.
MRSEC undergraduate Celeste Labedz (middle) serves as a peer mentor for Adams’ pre-service elementary science teachers.
Highlight InfoDate: March 2016