The Science FEST (Future Elementary School Teachers) Project was an enrichment project for highly motivated future teachers at El Camino Community College. Project participants designed a comprehensive module (about 1 week of instruction) in space or physical science that were inquiry-based and reflects the national and state science standards. Participants investigated how inquiry-based curriculum is developed, strategies to incorporate technology to enhance learning, and a variety of authentic assessment models. A Science FEST participant spent about 11 weeks designing their science units of study and the taught the module many times in the classroom. College faculty observed the participants teaching in the classroom and provided feedback about their teaching and offered strategies about how their science teaching could be improved. Our experience has shown that Science FEST participants gained a greater understanding of the science content and increased their pedagogical knowledge; experienced first-hand how to design and pilot test curriculum materials; experienced being a "science teacher" in the K-12 classroom; understood how teachers reflect on their work and how their teaching can be improved; and began their work as professionals and teacher leaders. For additional information about the Science FEST Project, please click on the link More Details.
Without question, we are proud of all of the Science FEST participants and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to enhance their work as future educators!
The BEST (Beginning Elementary School Teachers) Science Project was an professional development project for novice classroom teachers. Students (and their teachers) are held accountable for science on the state mandated tests and teaching top-quality science is now everyone*s responsibility. During BEST Science, new teachers deepened their content knowledge base in space or physical science, designed innovative instructional materials, tested the materials in their classroom, assessed the science knowledge level of their students, and finally made presentations to distribute the instructional materials with other classroom teachers. BEST Science was a year-long series of four workshops in which new teachers:
÷÷Investigate a topic in space or physical science to deepen content knowledge.
÷÷Develop inquiry- and standards-based instructional materials in science.
÷÷Pilot test instructional materials in their classroom.
÷÷Share this work to with other educators at professional meetings and conferences.
Educational leaders are those who expand their teaching to a larger audience in the educational community. To this end, BEST Science participants shared their work with others at their school site; wrote and submitted proposals to professional organization; and made engaging and informative presentations in order to become educational leaders at their school and in the larger educational community.
Kids love science! BEST Science guided novice educators to become a better and more exciting teachers of science.