Informal Science

Bringing Scientists into the classroom

Greetings!

     I am a preservice teaching from Baltimore, Maryland and I have been thinking about the idea of bringing scientists or people whose careers can be linked back to science into the classroom to share about their career and experiences with students and to answer questions students might have. I love the idea of having students meeting and learning from science-doers of different colors, genders, races, and backgrounds. However, aside from a few nurses, I am not sure how to find science-doers to invite to my classroom. Do you have any ideas about what types of workers I could ask and how their careers link to science? Thank you!

                Lizzy Steele 

Elizabeth Steele
Elizabeth Steele
445 Activity Points

Check out bringing an explorer to your classroom from Nat Geo: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/student-experiences/explorer-classroom 500 women scientists: https://500womenscientists.org/request-a-scientist/ Skype a scientist: https://www.skypeascientist.com/ And also your local colleges or universities are good places to start. I love having video-conferences with students and scientists... it somehow feels more authentic, since the scientists are in their home base and the students can see them in their environment. Also, make sure if you invite a scientist to your classroom who has not interacted with students of your age group before that you prepare them for what they might encounter. For example, highlight that lecturing is not a good way to reach students and that interactive questioning and/or a hands-on activity is much better received. It's also a good idea to preload the scientists' content with students, and have them prepare questions in advance so that they are ready to ask them. Hope this is helpful!

Rachel Stagner
Rachel Stagner
205 Activity Points

Hi Lizzy,

I just finished up my first semester student teaching. I agree that bringing in real, working scientists can greatly benefit students! I have seen this done in my younger sister's 5th grade science classroom. The teacher sent a paper home with students and asked for parents to fill out the paper if they have a science-related career. Once the papers were returned, she sorted through them and matched the careers with the units that corresponded to each field of study. For instance, she put the nurses and doctors in with the unit on the human body. She then contacted the parents whose careers matched her curriculum and asked them if they would like to visit class and talk to students about what they do. Make sure to follow your school's requirements on background checks for anyone coming into the school! You can even offer to have a career day toward the end of the year if there are parents whose careers may be interesting to your students, but don't necessarily align with your curriculum. It is so important for students to see real, working scientists! It makes them realize that everything they are learning is important and will be used in many careers in the future. I hope you find a way to bring scientists into your classroom!

Kaitlin O'Connor
Kaitlin O'Connor
1085 Activity Points

This is great information! Thank you so much!

Elizabeth Steele
Elizabeth Steele
445 Activity Points

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