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A Science Teacher's Journal: Lessons, Publications, Affiliations

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Lessons and Pedagogy

"The lesson of the day is the single most important contribution teachers provide. It is pure story, with a plot, participants, a beginning and an end. It is the membrane between teacher and student, allowing simultaneous exchange of information and questions; it is the way we come to learn, as mysterious in preparation as it is significant in its delivery; a product of reflection, improvement, testing and perfecting. A lesson without review and reflection is no lesson at all." – Joel I.  Cohen, from, Teaching the Lesson, in preparation.

Lesson Plans

Peer Reviewed Educational Publications of Note

A Science Educators Journal and Affiliations 1

Following an article's publication, they are posted on Research Gate, as shown below for those already published:

Published:

  1. Ethical Values and Biological Diversity: A Preliminary Assessment Approach.2014. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education: 15(12): 224-226
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269634614_Ethical_Values_and_Biological_Diversity_A_Preliminary_Assessment_Approach
  2. "A Cellular Encounter": Constructing the Cell as a Whole System Using Illustrative Models. 2014. American Biology Teacher: 76(8): 544-549.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268631747_A_Cellular_Encounter_Constructing_the_Cell_as_a_Whole_System_Using_Illustrative_Models
  3. Guided Inquiry and Consensus-Building Used to Construct Cellular Models. 2015. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education: 16(1): 1-9.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276144401_Guided_Inquiry_and_Consensus-Building_Used_to_Construct_Cellular_Models

Newly Published

  1. Biodiversity Education and the Anthropocene: An Indicator of Extinction or Recovery. American Biology Teacher, April 2016.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299811121_Biodiversity_Education_the_Anthropocene_An_Indicator_of_Extinction
    _or_Recovery

    Publication uses the Anthropocene Species Event Index (ASEI), as shown in figure below (click it to enlarge):
    figure2
  2. Nuisance to Icon – A Natural History ‘Reader’ for Teaching of Charles Darwin and Evolutionary History

    Abstract.

    Charles Darwin returned to England with finches incorrectly classified, lacking exotic plumage and colors, and showing little remarkable detail. However, subsequent examination by John Gould revealed 13 closely related species endemic only to the Galapagos Islands. Despite Darwin’s confusion, by one hundred years later, the birds had become evolution’s icon. This paper examines unexpected twists and turns of the birds’ history as an example of Darwin’s scientific pursuits. Using an educational ‘reader’ format, this paper explores the finches’ beginning as a “nuisance” to becoming “Darwin’s Finches.” It does so from four historical perspectives: current museum holdings; Darwin’s unexpected development as a coleopteran collector and later as a Victorian naturalist; the understanding of adaptation and natural selection; and the decline and rebirth of Darwinism. It offers a unique approach for teaching evolutionary history, as emphasized by the Next Generation Science Standards, including narration of historical events, and scientific practices.
  3. Teaching Natural History and Biodiversity through the Microscope – Increasing Participation by Using Living and Fossil Organisms. Submitted, in review.
  4. Seeds of Civilization to the Brink of Starvation – Introducing and Teaching Nikolai Vavilov and Biodiversity to a New Generation. Submitted, in review.

Educational Affiliations

1. Audubon Naturalist Society - http://www.audubonnaturalist.org/

soil horizon pit AANS is "the oldest independent environmental organization in the Washington, DC region. A pioneer in linking conservation activities with environmental education." In this regard, ANS offers a series of graduate level educational courses in collaboration with the Graduate School USA.

The Natural History Field Studies (NHFS) curriculum provides students with a comprehensive overview of the regions natural history and conservation issues and applications with an emphasis on learning in the field. A Certificate of Accomplishment is awarded for completion of a required curriculum of 39 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) taken in five subject areas. The link to ANS Continuing Education Natural History Field Studies Program is below:

http://www.audubonnaturalist.org/index.php/nature-programs/adults/continuing-education-nhfs

I teach two evening adult classes at the graduate level for the NHFS. These courses are titled, "The Living Soil," and "Biodiversity." They are fully accredited. I have developed the curricular design, syllabus, lessons, labs, field trips and schedule for both, along with preparing reading material, and selection of the text book.

2. John Hopkin's University's Center for Talented Youth (JHU/CTY).

http://cty.jhu.edu/summer/grades2-6/catalog/science.html#scop. Here, I teach "Through the Microscope," a three week course for advanced students where I also design the curriculum and schedule. My technology link here is to invest in all of the modern advances in microscopy that CTY can fund. The course overview is as stated below:

"In 1665, Robert Hooke used a microscope to examine cork, providing the first clues that living things are made of cells. Today, the microscope remains a crucial tool for scientific investigation. In this course, students use microscopy to discover the living and non-living world around them, acquiring an introduction to science in the process. This course begins with an overview of scale and size and an introduction to the history and proper use of microscopes. Students then examine and compare living one-celled and multi-cellular organisms such as algae, elodea, rotifers, and paramecia as they differentiate between bacterial, animal, and plant cells. Emphasis is placed on cell structure, nutrient needs, and growth. Students also gain a new appreciation for the intricacies of familiar things such as newsprint, fibers, or blades of grass.

They develop laboratory skills including staining, preparing wet mounts, DNA extraction, and inoculation. After their introduction to the microscope and cell biology, students consider atoms and larger molecules like DNA, learning why some things can't be seen with light microscopes. Students also explore the various ways microscopes are used in the field as they investigate forensic science and pathology. Through laboratory work, model building, drawing, writing, and research, students leave the course with an understanding of microscopy and its role in science.

Mentoring. I was also selected by JHU to mentor high school students who had competed across the country for cash awards allowing them to carry out their own independent research of interest. The awards were offered by CTY Cogito. Upon receiving their grants, the students are paired with a mentor selected by JHU following their own screening as to qualifications and match to the student's research. The mentor then supports the awardee them through their research process. The young scientist I mentored was one of eight students of 250 from around the world who were winners! Her project was titled, "Fermentative Organisms Creating Biofuel Using a Photosynthetic System."

3. Leader and Mentor, SuperSciU!©

super sci

I serve as the teacher/leader for an advanced after-school science club offering health and environmental sciences to applicants. The club allows members a chance to conduct AP level biological laboratory investigations that rely entirely on living organism-habitat rearing, identification and classification. The club has received independent funding and support from Montgomery Country Recreation Department (RecExtra) funding http://montgomerycountymd.gov/rec/thingstodo/youthdevelopment/recxtra.html

img 4

It is the only middle school club recognized as member of National Association of Biology Teachers' Bioclubs http://www.nabt.org/websites/institution/index.php?p=19, whose other members are universities, community colleges and high schools. The Club features a community outreach function with a parent's night and community oriented projects, approved to award Student Service Learning hours. It also provides an award ceremony with certificates from NABT recognizing achievements of members. The Club logo and name are protected by copyright. See pictures below.

4. Member, Maryland Association of Science Teachers (MAST ; http://emast.org/)

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2013 - Invited speaker annual meeting - From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes for A Group Learning Approach for Studying Cellular Processes and Communication.

2015 - Invited speaker annual meeting - Endangered species - measuring ecosystem health by declining biodiversity: geography, math and science to the rescue.

Abstract:

A means for measuring time lines for endangered species declines or recoveries serves as an entry point for evaluating ecosystem health and reversal of threats arising from human intrusions. Following presentation and review of an example scenario to the class, students then use guided inquiry to determine their own species of interest, its habitat, and trends in decline or recovery through biology, math, graphing, and geography. This paper presents one example and asks the audience to participate in their own study by selecting one endangered species. Each study will be presented and followed by discussion of findings, with outcomes related directly to NGSS core ideas and performance expectations.

PowerPoint, ASEI (Anthropocene Species Event Index) data base, and species data available from author. Please send requests email.

5. FIST - "Females in Science and Technology."

This teaching event occurs one Saturday per school term. Speakers are invited to present various avenues of scientific pursuits, with my lesson titled, "Creatures, Creatures, Great and Small." It focuses on selected fossilized and living species representing the geological time scale with the final portion of the course discussing the Anthropocene extinction, biodiversity, and student-selected endangered species as their final project. It is held at Blair High School, Montgomery Country, Maryland.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/print/8705

 img 1  img 2
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6. Curriculum Development and Scholarship

EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUM CONSULTANT, DISCOVERY EDUCATION:

  • Authored Five Minute Prep Discovery Products, supervisor: Patricia A. Hagan, Director, Content Development
  • Wrote three Webinar Lesson Plan for Siemens STEM Academy for Dan Riskin, Philippe Cousteau, and Jeff Corrin (siemensstemacademy.com) for Earthday – web sites available
  • 3M Discovery Science of Everyday Life Lesson and laboratory plans for High School Students, posted at: http://scienceofeverydaylife.discoveryeducation.com/
  • Developed STEM evaluation tool for self-evaluation and reflection on curriculum using management by objectives, implemented through Principal

JOHN HOPKINS UNIVERSITY/CTY CONSULTATION:

  • Transforming the Middle School Science Classroom to Inspire Achievement: A CTY Curricular Collaboration.
  • Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) hosted its first conference aimed at improving middle school science education. Over the course of this conference, middle school teachers, content experts, CTY instructors, parents, and local middle school students came together to engage in cutting-edge conversations about science in middle school.  The aim of the event is to find new ways of approaching the subject both in the classroom and at home. http://cty.jhu.edu/ctycurricularcollab/
  • Developed entirely new approach and lesson on Natural Selection on Prezi, and gave 45’ presentation to students and parents.

A Science Educators Journal and Affiliations 2

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