Patricia Rourke

Science Consultant: Science, Technology & Engineering Education; STEM Applications; Using Vernier Software & Technology to Measure and Analyze Real-time Data in the Science Classroom




Vernier Software & Technology Consultant

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Recent Posts by Patricia

Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:33 PM in Gravity and Weightlessness
I am glad that you are finding resources that are useful and perhaps exciting for you. Have a great time adapting them to your classes. Patty

Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:58 PM in Avoiding Misconceptions in Science Education
Joann Naquin Thank you for your reopening this thread and for your endorsement of the content. Understanding student preconceptions is a never ending challenge. Patty Rourke

Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:39 AM in Graphing and Data Collection
Hi Karen, Thanks for chiming in on this thread. Learning how to graph, especially with a line graph in addition to bar graphs or pie charts, sets the foundation for all science and math learning in addition to meeting new STEM and NGSS standards. this thread has been quiet for awhile but will become lively again with the onset of a new academic year. Karen, it would be absolutely super if you cou...

Recent Reviews by Patricia

Sun May 04, 2014 2:07 PM
5 A New Look At EcoNews in Elementary School
Writing across the curriculum is not a new topic but it is one that is emphasized again within core standards, STEM approaches to the study of science, and NGSS. This article, although written in 2005, continues to offer pertinent information to a teacher guiding students through the process of creating an eco-newspaper as a means to communicate their understanding of their observation while in the field. One of the most useful artifacts within the article is the Assessment Rubric. The suggested time-line for the various tasks is also useful. Although the ecological core for this article is the prairie, the methods discussed easily may be adapted to any ecosystem available to the elementary school, even a backyard habitat.

Sun May 04, 2014 1:58 PM
5 Become More 'savvy' About Living Organisma
Asking questions about living things that are observable often is the core of life science for middle school students, as well as many high school students. Given our new sensitivities to student health and moral issues concerning live organisms within classrooms, this chapter charges us to consider classroom menageries and plant corners carefully but not to reject them. The text offers a useful chart on the type of organism, level of care, and potential problems. The text then proceeds to caution and to inform educators on using bacteria and growing other cultures within the classroom in addition to thoughtful words on integrating safety into all investigations that deal with live specimens. As a new teacher, I would file this chapter in the front of my lab preparation book and as a veteran teacher; I would carefully reexamine my classroom practices. STEM and NGSS standards urge us to design environments for students to explore and to extend their understanding of systems by firsthand knowledge and investigation and this chapter lays a foundation for teachers to craft safe learning environments to encourage students to ask questions and to seek answers. Other chapters within the book are worth consideration, too. Be a ‘savvy science teacher’ and take a moment to read this chapter.

Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:05 PM
4 Using Physical Science Gadgets & Gizmos
Phenomenon-Based Learning opens with side-by-side notes on pedagogy to both the teacher and the student. The authors describe PBL as K-W-L learning, a modality that has been an effective teaching tool for decades as well as a probe for rooting out student understanding through their presentations of their ideas through their journal/lab writings and their experimental design processes. Application of concepts underpins the authors’ presentation of goals for both the student and the teacher. Regurgitation is not ‘de rigueur!” Fortified with this learning platform, the authors offer gizmos for investigations into the nature of Wave Motion and Sound, Visible Light and Color, Thermodynamics, Air Pressure, Density and Buoyancy, Force, Motion and Energy, and It’s Science Not Magic. The experiences of the authors as presenters of wonderful physical science demonstrations allow them to select gizmos that are readily available in toy or science stores. These gizmos entice the students and offer real-world opportunities to explore the nature of science concepts through PBL learning. This book serves as a ready albeit a short encyclopedia of toys available for teaching science. Each chapter presents specific ways to explore concepts and allows the teacher to take the ideas and fashion lessons to reflect the learning styles of the students. The teacher easily may incorporate safety and various levels of learning into lessons from the material. Constructive learning encompasses this PBL approach quite effectively. This is a worthy purchase for any teacher’s library.

Recent Public Collections by Patricia

SPICE Core: Investigating Past Climate at the South Pole

14 Resources

Collection of resources presented during this webinar on historical climatic conditions in the South Pole

Activity Guide: Polar Science and Engineering
Type: User uploaded resource

Asking Questions and Defining Problems video
Type: User uploaded resource

Roller Coaster Science

1 Resources

The topic of teaching conservation laws, forces and friction as well as engineering arises annually. This is a small measure of resources available and they are mostly in the Learning Center.

The Ramp PhET
Type: User uploaded resource

Paths of Light: Reflection

8 Resources

A collection of resources to aid educators in understanding reflection and designing lessons to address alternative ideas on reflection

Favorite Demonstration: Scaffolding the Unbelievable—Understanding Light and Vision
Type: Journal Article

The Early Years: Paths of Light
Type: Journal Article