Engaging Science Challenge

Students deserve an enriching science education that includes weekly laboratory or field investigations. If you ACTIVELY engage them in the practices of science, we know wrangling lab equipment and coming up with ways for your students to be hands-on/ minds-on learners isn’t easy. You deserve recognition and there are cool awards waiting for you!

The Contest

If you give your science students the opportunity to work with data (i.e., collecting, observing, analyzing, graphing, modeling, or evaluating), fill out this form up to once per week to give us a brief description of the activity or lesson. First pick of the prizes goes to teachers with more submissions, but everyone gets something. We’ll have a get together at the end of the school year to distribute prizes and recognize all participants.

The challenge is open to 6-12 science teachers and all K-5 teachers in Leon County, FL. Prizes include samples from experiments at the National High Magnetic Field Lab, pitcher plants, private tours of local research facilities for you and your friends/colleagues, and t-shirts and posters for your classroom.

Here’s the form: http://goo.gl/forms/csnOqZ4s2M  Send questions to: adamlamee@gmail.com

The Prizes

Here’s what’s in store for participating teachers:

  • One teacher and student to conduct an experiment at FSU Chemistry (upon approval) – they’ll build the equipment you need and you can take it back to your classroom when you’re finished (courtesy of Dr. Ken Goldsby, FSU Chemistry)
  • Bitter disks (courtesy of Dr. I. Chiorescu, FSU-Physics and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory)
  • Pitcher plants with instructions for care and botanical background information (courtesy of Dr. Tom Miller, FSU Biology)
  • Private tours for your and your guests/students to:
  • Laminated physical science posters for your classroom (courtesy of Logan Chalfant, FSU-Teach)
  • “Teach Like A Nole” t-shirts from FSU-Teach
  • Magnet Lab t-shirts from CIRL at the NHMFL

Why It Matters

Research shows that students learn more and retain that knowledge longer if they are engaged in the process of learning science. That’s why the National Science Teacher Association recommends that every student be afforded the opportunity to work with data first-hand (i.e., collect, analyze, or evaluate) on a weekly basis. That advice is even included in the description for each 6-12 science course in Florida. Of course there’s more to a great science class than weekly labs. We just hope this challenge helps spur collegial discussion of effective practices and gives a little recognition to those who go above and beyond to give their students the best science education possible.

Read the NSTA’s position statement on the importance of lab investigations: http://www.nsta.org/about/positions/laboratory.aspx

See the FL Science Course Descriptions which include the NSTA’s recommendation: http://www.cpalms.org/Public/search/Course