Carolyn Mohr

I enjoy traveling to new places, hiking to new heights, and learning new things that I can share. Besides being a field trip instructor at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I teach science methods and education courses at Southern Illinois University/Carbondale and Dominican University/River Forest. I am also a Senior Online Advisor and Web Seminar Moderator for the NSTA.




Chicago Botanic Garden, Southern Illinois University/Carbondale & Dominican University

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Recent Posts by Carolyn

Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:08 PM in Ideas for STEM activity for Severe Weather
Hello Lizeth, I hope you are finding some great resources in the Learning Center.  Here is an engineering design lesson plan that focuses on how to build strong houses to withstand certain extreme weather conditions.  It is called "A Home for Three Little Pigs".  I think it would be an excellent match for what you are looking for in a STEM lesson to help your students prepare for and respond t...

Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:10 PM in Science Equipment and Technology
Hi Katie, I am with my science methods class right now, and we just completed a STEM activity where we made Puff Mobliles.  The only things we needed were life savers, straws, paper, paper clips, tape, and a ruler.  I will give you the URL for this activity, so you can try it out. Now you need to use the terminology for STEM activities, which include constraint, criteria for success, and proto...

Tue May 14, 2019 10:55 PM in New AZ Standards
Hi Chris, I would use the Chemical Reactions SciPack as my source for what is important on that topic; especially the Science object from that SciPack titled, "Rates of Chemical Reactions." You can access it at: At a minimum, the relationships between concentration, temperature, and pressure would need to be covered. I hope this ...

Recent Reviews by Carolyn

Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:32 PM
5 ELA & Science: A Match Made in Heaven
If you are "biting at the bit" because your principal doesn't see any value in teaching science, this article will help him/her see how you can "kill two birds with one stone". Students conceptualize everyday phenomena and make their thinking visible while practicing English and language arts strategies. The author relies heavily on interactive notebooks where students practice their reading and writing as they engage in critical thinking skills, apply their learning to new situations, and connect prior knowledge to new phenomenal occurrences. The article is an outstanding example of how to document student thinking and understanding, too. When interactive notebooks are used throughout the school year, you have student-generated data at your fingertips to show students' continuing growth in reading, writing, and reasoning skills. What more could a principal ask for?

Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:59 AM
5 MORE: Scaffolding Model-making & Reflecting
Whether one uses the well established 5 E learning and teaching model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate), MORE, or some other inquiry structure to frame lessons, best practices (like accessing prior knowledge, uncovering misconceptions, checking for understanding, etc.) should be strategically included. The Model-Observe-Reflect-Explain (MORE) thinking frame does just that for students needing practice in modeling and reflecting. If your students need to practice the skills of conceptualizing through making models and reflecting, MORE is a good learning framework to incorporate. The authors include a grading rubric that compares students’ initial and refined models.

Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:18 AM
5 Practicing Scaffolding to Do Science
Discover how instructors at an Academy designed an environmental course for undergraduates that introduced the nature of science and the scientific method as a way to consider and solve real world problems through observation, hypothesizing, data collection and analysis. The students gained an understanding of how scientists do science by becoming scientists, too. The article shows how the instructors used scaffolding of lessons (both in-class and out-of-class assignments) to prepare students for their projects. One of the hooks for engaging students was the use of Myth Busters program segments. Whether you are teaching elementary, middle, or high school students, this article has great ideas for how to scaffold learning, involve students in phenomena of every day life, help them to distinguish between good and bad science, and practice those processes that research scientists, engineers, ornithologists, environmentalists, etc., engage in each day.

Recent Public Collections by Carolyn

Citizen Science

7 Resources

Looking for ideas to give your students opportunities to collect real data that will help researchers and perhaps awaken a desire to help our planet survive and thrive? Here is a collection of resources from the Learning Center.

Citizen Scientists
Type: Journal Article

Citizen Science: Testing the Water: World Watering Challenge
Type: Journal Article

Vocabulary Building and Reading-To-Learn Strategies

17 Resources

Several Learning Center articles provide strategies for helping students learn and understand vocabulary terms important to science concepts/content. Here is a collection highlighting several ideas.

Type: User uploaded resource

Teaching Science to English-as-Second-Language Learners
Type: Journal Article

SEPs (Science and Engineering Practices) Elementary

5 Resources

Discover ways to integrate SEPs into elementary science lessons with the articles and other resources in this collection.

Engineering Encounters: Building a Spaghetti Structure
Type: Journal Article

Engineering Encounters: An Engineering Design Process for Early Childhood
Type: Journal Article