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Questions, Claims, and Evidence: The Important Place of Argument in Science Writing

Jay Staker
Jay Staker Jay Staker is the Associate Director of Education for Iowa Space Grant Consortium and directs Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach's K–12 STEM outreach program. Prior to his current role Mr. Staker taught science for over 20 years where he started to delve into argument-based inquiry. At ISU Mr. Staker works with Brian Hand and Lori Norton-Meier on research and professional development that helps teachers shift traditional classroom science activities to a learning experience that teachers can use to support students as they explore their questions and develop their understanding of science concepts.


Dr. Lori Norton-Meier
Jay Staker Dr. Lori Norton-Meier, the current Project Coordinator for the Interdisciplinary Center for Research on Early Childhood Issues and Initiatives at the University of Louisville, brings extensive experience to this project as a classroom teacher, a grant administrator, and as a language and literacy researcher. As a classroom teacher, Dr. Norton-Meier taught for seven years in an inner-city environment where many of her students lived in poverty and for whom English was a second language. From this early point in her career, she began writing grants to better serve the needs of her students and to enable professional development opportunities for teachers in relation to curriculum planning and development including the creation of two new sites of the National Writing Project (NWP): The Kansas Writing Project in Wichita, KS and The Flint Hills Writing Project in Manhattan, KS. Each project is running successfully today with strong teacher leadership.


The foundation of the NWP is an award-winning school reform professional development model of teachers teaching teachers which is just one facet that Dr. Norton-Meier brought her work as a co-director of the International Science Literacy Project (ISLP). Along with Dr. Brian Hand, a science educator from the University of Iowa, the ISLP is an ongoing research project investigating teacher implementation of an innovative science and literacy approach and the impact on student learning in Preschool-Grade 12. This work was made possible with over $2.5 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, and through federal Math-Science Partnership funding. As a researcher, Dr. Norton-Meier has spent her career studying students’ literate lives in and out of school contexts. She has multiple publications including over 20 journal publications, seven book chapters and three books on science and literacy in the classroom. In 2011, she was nominated for the American Educational Research Association award for “Relating Research to Practice.” Finally, Dr. Norton-Meier has shown a commitment to disseminating her work through publications and presenting to a variety of audiences, especially on an international level.




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