Rebecca Austin-Datta

"Why?" is my favourite scientific word. As a High School Chemistry Teacher, I want to inspire students to become scientists - there are more questions than answers in science, and I am impatient to find out the rest of the answers... :-)

Location

FL

Affiliation

Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School of the Medical Arts

Recent Posts by Rebecca

Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:37 PM in Periodic Table Cards, amazing Inquiry results/resource
Hello all, I have just taught an AMAZING couple of lessons using a fantastic set of playing cards and two inquiry lesson plans by an exhibitor who gave a workshop at the NSTA Conference in New Orleans. (Living by Chemistry, Key Curriculum Press) The cards are astounding: using them I (my students too LOL) have discovered new trends in the Periodic Table - even though I have a Bachelors in C...

Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:06 PM in Science Songs
I occasionally use chemistry and math songs by Mark Rosengarten (you tube) to introduce new topics and "Engage" students. At the end of the year, my students make their own revision song on a chemistry topic of their choice, using either Mark Rosengarten's slide show format with original lyrics or a modern music video format with acting and singing :-)

Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:31 PM in Science Fair Topics
Students can be prompted to realize that any 'I wonder why...' question can be turned into a scientific inquiry, i.e. a Science Fair project. When I introduce Science Fair (day 1 or 2 of school), I start off with a simple 'Shell Observation Lab' where students write down as many observations as possible about a sample of shells they are given (they get at least five of the same type of shell, ...





Recent Reviews by Rebecca


Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:58 PM
5 Motivational Reading Material
This article has proved very popular among my 8th Grade Career Research students. Many of them aspire to a career in medicine (I teach in a Medical Magnet school) but they also enjoy the idea of using forensics and critical thinking skills – modeling the bomb investigators they see in TV shows. This article was especially suitable for students who would like to be more proficient readers because it was a manageable length (just one page); students were motivated to read to the end of the article because the material was so engaging. This Career of The Month series of interviews from the NSTA publication "The Science Teacher" is special because the articles they tell you not only what the ‘job’ is like on a day to day basis, but they also explain the college/career path which the person took – not every path is what you would expect! My students read and made notes on several of these articles, then wrote a compare/contrast essay about the style of interview questions. They are now busy compiling a portfolio of Career Interviews by interviewing adult relations and friends, and writing up their findings in a similar format to the Career of the Month interviews. To encourage students to use their own words I asked students to submit the written text of their interviews to turnitin.com; so far only job titles have appeared in the Similarity Match. The Career of the Month Interviews inspired my students to think outside the box about their own career dreams, and to explore the careers of those around them in depth.


Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:57 PM
5 It makes sense, and is worth the time!
I have recently started following the advice in this book chapter, and I am starting to think that Everyday Assessment MAY just be the missing link from having the students explore/explain ... and be able to explain again a few days/weeks/months later! Our mile-wide, inch deep curriculum tries its best to cover every aspect of Chemistry in two semesters... last year I did not 'waste' time on everyday assessment, as I was trying to impart information at a dizzying rate. I worked hard, but reflecting on the year I realized I needed to work SMARTER. Having I read this book chapter, I resolved to try using short 'exit slips' INSIDE the lesson, EVERY DAY, getting students to self-grade in red pen immediately after the quiz so they had instant feedback and THEY could see what they did not understand, so they could take responsibility to ask the questions and get clarification..... Don't groan if you are doing this automatically, or it is old news for you - I am not College of Ed so this was a brand new Ah-Ha! moment for me! I am grateful to this book chapter for giving me Scientific reasons to try something I was reluctant to do; it nudged me to consider spending time on DAILY semi-formal assessments. I am seeing the results in the classroom :-)


Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:25 PM
3 Good for non-scientists
I was looking for a sparkling way to introduce periodicity to my Chemistry Class. This is not the book chapter to help. The chapter title is misleading as it explains (very nicely) all about electron configurations and shells/orbitals (the reason FOR periodicity) but gives little information about 'what next', i.e the periodicity of the Periodic Trends (melting points etc). I have a chemistry background, and this book is designed for non-scientists, so perhaps I am being a bit unfair. The writing style is enjoyable, if I was new to the topic I would have been glued to the pages, but the content is too basic for my needs so I am glad I got to read a chapter free before I bought the series!






Recent Public Collections by Rebecca


General Science Careers

9 Resources

I am teaching a Semester class of Career Research (8th Grade) and this collection of Career of the Month from The Science Teacher journal will be a wonderful resource.



Career of the Month: Roller Coaster Designer
Type: Journal Article
Grade:


Career of the Month: An interview with hurricane researcher Christopher Landsea
Type: Journal Article
Grade:


Medical Science Careers

14 Resources

Next semester I am booked to teach a Middle School class on Career Research... we are a Medical Magnet school, and I wanted to have some ideas up my sleeve to help start the semester with a sparkle. I already have excited students emailing me wanting to know what the class scope is (they heard about the Food Science Research class I led last year!), so these resources are EXACTLY what I needed to help me start thinking of outside-the-box medical science careers.



Career of the Month: An Interview with Animal Nutritionist Mark Edwards
Type: Journal Article
Grade:


Career of the Month: An Interview with Aquaculture Veterinarian Roy P.E. Yanong
Type: Journal Article
Grade: