Picture-Perfect Science

From Idea to Invention!
The first of two Web Seminars on the topic of Picture-Perfect Science Lessons was held on Wednesday, December 14, 2005, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The session was presented by Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan, co-authors of the popular NSTA Press publication Picture-Perfect Science Lessons: Using Children's Books to Guide Inquiry.

web seminar player screen shot

The session started with a general overview of the Web Seminar tools and how they can be used to facilitate interaction between the participants and the presenter. Forty-eight participants were present in addition to the presenters and the NSTA staff. Educators represented the states of Arizona, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Three participants joined the program from outside the United States: New Zealand Canada, and Mexico.

The presenters focused on the theme of inventions, specifically, how these change from idea to reality. They shared their knowledge of several books related to inventions that can be use in the classroom, such as, Imaginative Inventions, which tells the story about the invention of the high heeled shoes, and Mistakes that Worked, which talks about the invention of Coca-Cola. Other books mentioned during the seminar included Girls Think of Everything, Brainstorm!, and Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe. Ms. Ansberry and Ms. Morgan read a few paragraphs from each book and polled the audience regarding the different reading strategies used: making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, determining importance, and synthesizing.

web seminar player screen shot

Karen and Emily modeled a couple of activities. The first activity was about creating an invention. The invention students had to create was an airplane seat cup holder. This activity challenges students to be creative working around some given constraints. The second activity had to do with evaluating inventions. Several web seminar participants shared their own version of this activity. Many had their students evaluate different products, like cleaners and diapers.

Throughout the presentation there were several opportunities for interactions between the participants and presenter - drawing a scientist, answering poll questions, chatting, stamping, and marking on slides.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "This was a very good seminar. I have been trying to find ways to incorporate reading strategies into my science class. This was very helpful."
  • "I enjoyed learning about ways to use picture books to assist students in learning science. Some of the resources in the chat window provided info for older children. Good job!"
  • "I wasn't sure what to expect - this was my first online seminar. I enjoyed the interactive nature of the program and the ability to talk audibly and visually. I learned how to do an online seminar. Thanks."
  • "This was my first web seminar, and I loved the experience. The live interaction was wonderful, and the presenters, Karen and Emily, were so much fun. It is so nice to be able to participate from the comfort of my own home!"

Thanks to the participants and presenters, Karen and Emily, for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done! Join us for the second Picture-Perfect Science Web Seminar scheduled to take place on January 11, 2006.


For more information contact webseminars@nsta.org

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 Underwritten in part by NSTA Press