Earth and Space Science

SCIENCE & SPACE IN THE ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM

I have always been fascinated about space. The moon, planets, stars, and all the elements that are included in this topic. Although, I feel that I was not exposed to this subject as often as I should have. Back then the important subjects that were incorporated in the classroom were ELA and MATH. As I am experiencing  student teaching, I can see in the classroom that Science is not being thought to the fullest compared to other subjects. I agree that science is critical and we need to expose it to students to challenge their problem solving skills and just maybe they can become the next generation of innovators.  How can we teachers advocate the importance of Science in students' education?

Lory Hernandez
Lory Hernandez
753 Activity Points

Hello Lory, I am also currently in my student teaching semester! On my end I was placed in a first grade classroom and I too have noticed that science is not a huge priority. Instead instructional time is directed mostly towards reading, writing, and math. It is honestly disappointing to see that students are not being introduced and expose to everything science has to offer. In result, I know exactly the things that I do not want to do in my classroom. I firmly believe that science is an important subject that students need to be taught and exposed to. It is also important to acknowledge that it is possible that the next scientist is in our classroom, so we need to expose them and teach them science!! In conclusion, I think that one of the ways' to advocate the importance of Science in students' education is to be the change and actually teach science in our future classrooms.

Karina Herrera
Karina Herrera
295 Activity Points

Hi Lory, I am a student teacher in a first grade classroom and I have to say that I have experienced the same thing. If science gets taught its 5 minutes at the end of the day, and most days it doesn't get taught at all. I understand that math and ELA are important, but I think that science is important too. I think that we as teachers can advocate for the importance of Science in students' education by making sure to teach our students Science every day.

Samantha Kalmick
Samantha Kalmick
500 Activity Points

Hi Lory, I am a ST too and I experience the same at my class. I spoke with my teacher and she agreed that I can help her to do an experiment at least once a week. You can help your students. Offer your help to co-teach and hopefully the teacher will accept your offer.

Hadeel Alrubaye Barries
Hadeel Alrubaye Barries
1010 Activity Points

Hi Lory! I work as an ambassador and informal educator with NASA, Missile Defense Agency, NOAA, and the American Meteorological Society. If you check out the resource sections of any of these agencies and groups, you can get great ideas for activities in class. That being said, if you are willing to give up some summer time for professional development, you can apply for a number of free workshops, many of which pay travel costs or a stipend. The applications usually require the principal to sign off - which will attract your principal's attention and possible start a dialogue. Once you start doing these activities, promote them by getting them in the school or district newspaper which will attract a lot of attention and science interest. I attended the Missile Defense Agency's STEM program last year and they paid all the expenses and sent me a care package worth hundreds of dollars for my class. For professional development, you can't beat the American Meteorological Society which provides free on line professional science courses which grant free graduate credit through the State University of New York. Rather than blather on, I'll attach some links to get you started. Best of Luck! [url=https://www.mda.mil/about/STEM_initiatives.html]https://www.mda.mil/about/STEM_initiatives.html[/url] [url=https://www.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/education-careers/education-program/k-12-teachers/]https://www.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/education-careers/education-program/k-12-teachers/[/url] [url=https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/planet-stewards/]https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/planet-stewards/[/url] [url=https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/index.html]https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/index.html[/url] [url=https://solarsystem1.jpl.nasa.gov/ssa/home.cfm]https://solarsystem1.jpl.nasa.gov/ssa/home.cfm[/url] [url=https://www.seti.org/seti-institute-announces-2017-2018-educators-airborne-astronomy-program]https://www.seti.org/seti-institute-announces-2017-2018-educators-airborne-astronomy-program[/url] [url=https://www.usna.edu/STEM/flickr/flickr-set-sail-summer-2017.php]https://www.usna.edu/STEM/flickr/flickr-set-sail-summer-2017.php[/url] jj

James Johnson
James Johnson
93810 Activity Points

Hi Lory, I have seen many teachers struggle with this as well. I think using science as an integrated subject when teaching reading, english and math can be an excellent way to incorporate science in students education. Science is becoming more and more important in our lives everyday and it is important for students to be aware and learn about everyday, not just once a week. Earth and Space science was my favorite topic throughout my grade school years. What made it so interesting was that my teachers would teach us about the random facts that affected our lives such as who astronauts are, planes, our moons, etc. Use it in your readings and make sure to tell students that one of them can be the next Einstein! Overall, try to integrate it into other core subjects so students can see how interesting it really is.

Melanie Cabrera
Melanie Cabrera
730 Activity Points

Hi Lory, In my previous assignment for observations, I did notice that science was usually just a 30 minute period in the class time in which the kids did a worksheet (bleh). I think that teaching science is so important to our kids, especially the young ones. They have so much curiosity about things, and want to know why things work. I think that to advocate for science, we need to talk to our coworkers and admin and find a way to make it more of a priority in our classrooms. I feel as though ELA can be incorporated into science a little, and that maybe we can push to let students explore scienc

Megan Bradburn
Megan Bradburn
490 Activity Points

Hi Lory. As a student teacher, I recently had the opportunity to get out and be involve with young scientists and their 
projects. It is amazing to see the measure of creativity displayed among the primary grades. I have started volunteering
 with organizations that support causes important to scientists. It provides a chance to engage with the public while 
increasing the awareness of the importance of science.I can share my experiences with my students through
 striking images and explain the Science behind it. Volunteering at science events can be one way among others,
 to begin with. It is a platform where ideas are shared along with networking with others.  


Susan Nandlal
430 Activity Points

Lory, I also have this worry about science not being a primary subject in elementary grades and that it is being left out. I have found that the best way to bring science into the classroom is by incorporating it into math and English lessons because those are the primary focus in these grades. There are many useful lessons that incorporate science into lessons about symmetry and/or vocabulary. But again there is only so much we can do with that. What are some other ways we can incorporate science in the classroom?

Karen Merlos
Karen Merlos
170 Activity Points

Hi Lory, I am also in my student teaching semester, as are others who have commented on this post. Unfortunately, based on what I have seen during observations, (I am in an ELA class), I am afraid that you are right that science is not a top priority in what we are seeing in the elementary school. I have noticed, more specifically, that the early grades (k-2) do not have a strong focus on science, but they focus on the basics of reading and math. I always loved science as a child, whether it was learning about space or learning about animals. I think a great way to incorporate science when most time is spent doing reading and math, is to try to incorporate it in those subjects as well. For example, while students are learning about expository text and non fiction in reading, the teacher can incorporate informational books about a specific science topic as well. This is one thing we are doing in my 2nd grade class, for sometimes science and reading can go hand in hand!

Rachel Steadman
Rachel Steadman
200 Activity Points

Rachel I too am fascinated about Science and I feel that if I were to be a Science teacher in the future I would incorporate different learning strategies in the classroom that engage students. I do not want for my students to lose on this amazing opportunity. In any subject other than Science we can definitely incorporate Science material so that the students do not lose interest. My biggest concern is that teachers do not bother to include Science in their lessons because to them it might not be important. However, students' constantly need to be reminded of the importance that Science contributes to our daily lives!

Lory Hernandez
Lory Hernandez
753 Activity Points

Hi everyone, I am also a student teacher in a first-grade classroom, and I too experience the disappointment of not seeing enough time set aside in the curriculum for science. The district that I am in is strict about the subject areas the teachers teach and basically allows only a handful of minutes a day for a super quick and simple "lesson". However, my mentor teacher loves and values science, and she has told me that there are ways to still incorporate science meaningfully in a classroom even when you are not given the resources to do so all the time. She intertwines science and writing almost every day, and the students absolutely love it. She has them write their predictions, their previous knowledge and what they would like to know, and their observations. It is amazing to see how the new information they learn with science can grasp their attention because it shows what they care about and what they are truly interested in. My little scientists love to learn about the solar system, the Earth, reusing and recycling, and so much more! Even if it is difficult to find a time for it, science is still very possible to teach!

Naimah Urfi
Naimah Urfi
725 Activity Points

It great that she does implement science into her writing. Many schools are focused on reading, writing, and math. Social Studies and Science seem to go on the back burner. You are right about science grabbing the attention of students, especially at the elementary level.

Randy Florendo
Randy Florendo
310 Activity Points

Hi Lory, Much like you and many others who have replied on this post, I see that my mentor teacher and her partner teacher do not incorporate science (and social studies) into our Kindergarten class. It makes me sad because just like you, I enjoyed to learn and do different science experiments in elementary school. In fifth grade we even had an after school science camp that made me love it much more. I think as student teachers, one thing we can do is encourage our mentor teachers to incorporate science into our reading and centers. I am thinking that we can do a scavenger hunt at the playground and school garden on different types of plants/animals they might see and then have them write about what they observed. This way they are doing science and not skipping out on writing/reading for the day. There are other things that we can do to help increase their knowledge in science.

Brenda Rivera
Brenda Rivera
355 Activity Points

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