Over the past 10 years I’ve taken my love of teaching chemistry to the community and volunteer bringing hands-on learning to schools, organizations, libraries, the children’s hospital, and television science segments on ABC affiliate stations (WZZM 13 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and ABC7 in Fort Myers, Florida). I present a blend of smart and entertaining hands-on science activities that motivate kids to continually question and investigate their world. My encouragement is to never stop being curious and never stop seeking the answers.
In addition, I utilize mobile technology in my teaching in the chemistry classroom, laboratory, and science outreach. I’ve authored several technology grants and have led several workshops at local colleges and schools teaching on the integration of mobile technology in the classroom.
I started into the education program at MTU as a junior as a result of two friends majoring in mathematics that convinced me to join them. I really wasn’t expecting to go into teaching. I loved chemistry and was planning on a career as a research chemist. Standing in front of a group of people was always so fearful to me. As I got farther into the education program, I started to discover how much I was enjoying my classes. It got me thinking how many college chemistry professors really don’t know how to teach. This motivated me more in the education program at MTU. I started to feel like I could be that change and teach chemistry better than it was taught to me. The education program at MTU gave me that “face your fear and find your passion” moment. I faced my fear of being in front of a group of people and found a passion that made everyday of going to work since, a joy.
My advice to current teachers is to do what you love. If you don’t find a love in your subject or in teaching it, don’t force it. The teaching world is filled with too many who complain about teaching, students, and the hard work for so little pay. Yes, the pay is little and yes, the work is hard… but if you love it, you will not regret a day of your career choice. You will make a difference to the world because you’re giving the good part of yourself, the happy part.
Always be yourself and do not teach a particular style just because that’s how you were taught. Teaching is always evolving and be ready for constant change. The best experiences you can bring to the classroom are your life experiences. Use your personality and life experiences to make the best environment for learning. In the early years of your teaching, keep learning more hands-on about your subject and education. Substitute teach, participate in research, attend workshops and seminars, become active at your school. And if you have time, volunteer in your community.
If you’re enjoying teaching, then your students are probably enjoying learning. And if your nervous, that is good because nerves means you care. The day I’m not nervous or a bit scared to go into a classroom might be the day I might be ready to retire from teaching.
Dr. Robert Hoffman, world renowned expert on cognitive systems engineering and Senior Scientist at the Institute for Human Machine Cognition (IHMC), gave a talk on April 9, entitled, “Integrated Model of Macrocognition” for students and faculty in Cognitive and Learning Sciences and Human Computing Center at MTU. IHMC, based in Pensacola, Florida, is a leading organization in research to understand and extend human capabilities and technologies.
Dr. Hoffman is working with MTU Faculty, Dr. Shane Mueller on a DARPA project to develop explainable AI.
Amy Lark, Assistant Professor in Applied Science Education, was one of the Michigan Tech faculty members to receive an award exceeding $5,000 from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium for her program “Teacher Training: The Next Generation Science Standards in Theory and Practice”. Click here to see a full list of recipients.
NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico.
As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for approximately 20 years. MSGC funding is administered through MTU’s Pavlis Honors College. For more information, contact Paige Hackney in the Pavlis Honors College, call 7-4371, or visit the MSGC website.
Elizabeth Veinott, Associate Professor in Cognitive and Learning Sciences, along with graduate student Katy Roose, recently presented their games for learning paper in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The paper, Roller coaster park manager by day problem solver by night: Effect of video game play on problem solving, was included at the CHI-Play conference.
Registration is open for 2017 Summer Science Camps at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center and Nara Nature Center.
There are three-day Summer Science Camps for students entering grades 1-5.
Three sessions are offered, and students may enroll for more than one. Camps begin June 13.
Find out what teams are doing. Many are partnered with Michigan Tech faculty and departments, including CEE, SFRES, etc.
The public is invited to attend one of these upcoming LSSI-sponsored community events. Contact Joan Chadde or the lead teacher for more information or directions.
- 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. June 1-2. Houghton High School – School Forest Research Project Presentations in high school auditorium. (Lauri Davis, lead teacher)
- Noon to 2 p.m. June 2, Washington Middle School, Calumet Township Park (Darrell Hendrickson, lead teacher).
- 6 to 7:30 p.m. June 5, Baraga Middle/High School outside the school building. Fun Run, Veggie Kabobs, Garden/Greenhouse Tours. (Lori Wisniewski and Ben Johnston, lead teachers.
Kudos to all the great stewardship work going on and the hard work of LSSI teachers to provide a rich learning environment for their students.
Every year the Network of Michigan Educators invites the Teacher Education faculty to nominate and honor their top pre-service teachers as “Teachers of Promise”. This year the faculty nominated Kaitlin Kogut, who completed her final semester with the program as a student teacher in Houghton High School. Kaitlin completed her degree in Biological Sciences Secondary Education and Integrated Science Teaching. She is also a member of Michigan Tech Leading Scholars.
Kaitlin accepted her award at the Annual Recognition Banquet and Conference in Lansing last month, stating “I learned about advocating for students through social media, alternative school models aimed at reaching every student, and digitizing the classroom. I was able to participate in conversation in each of these sessions using the knowledge I gained in Teacher Education classes at Michigan Tech.” Congratulations, Kaitlin!
An AP news article titled “Michigan Tech Students Teach Tech to the Inexperienced,” which features Michigan Tech’s BASIC (Building Adult Skills in Computing) program, Charles Wallace (CS), and Kelly Steelman (CLS), was published in the Charlotte Observer, Kansas City Star, Miami Herald, Washington Times, and many other news outlets across the country.
Drs. Wallace and Steelman were also featured on our blog post, Breaking Digital Barriers, last month highlighting their research.