Doing Good Science:

The first of two Web Seminars on Doing Good Science was held on Wednesday, November 2, 2005, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The session was presented by Rick Vanosdall, co-author of the NSTA Press publication Doing Good Science in Middle School. Among the participants were some teachers who had attended the face-to- face symposium at the NSTA Area Convention in Hartford, CT.

The session started with a general overview of the NSTA Web Seminar tools and how they can be used to facilitate interaction between the participants and the presenters. Forty participants were present in addition to the presenter and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of New York, Michigan, Texas, Connecticut, California, Alabama, Missouri, Colorado, North Carolina, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Georgia. Two participants joined the group from Canada and a US military installation.

web seminar player screen shot

The audience was mostly composed of middle school teachers with different years of classroom instruction experience. There were a few teachers with 1-2 years of experience and several with 10 or more years of experience. One participant said she had been teaching for 35 years! Rick used the audience's expertise well and encouraged participation from the teachers often. He provided input in areas such as Science Notebooks, working with school management, and what research shows about how people learn best. One of the strategies Rick shared with the audience was regarding asking questions to students. All teachers agreed that questioning is a good strategy that can be used to find out what people know and understand. Throughout the presentation there were several opportunities for the participants to interact with each other and with the presenter by answering poll questions, chatting, stamping, and marking.

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

  • "Very enjoyable and informative follow up to Hartford. I wish we had more time."
  • "This was my first web seminar. The most interesting thing, for me, was
    realizing that most of us "do good science" but oftentimes don't realize it. One
    thing I learned was the value of students generating questions following
    an experiment."
  • "I loved hearing about what other middle school teachers are doing in their
    classes. I am in my second year of teaching and it was great to get more ideas
    from the presentation as well as from the other teachers. I look forward to
    doing more web seminars!"
  • "It's great that its so interactive, and that the participants can post their thoughts
    as the speaker is presenting. I learned many new things because I am still
    a student. The most valuable thing I learned was the ideas on getting students to participate."

Thanks to the participants and Rick for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done! Join us for the second Doing Good Science Web Seminar scheduled to take place in February 8, 2006. The speaker will be Dr. Olaf Jorgenson, co-author of Doing Good Science in Middle School.

Web Seminar I Resources


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Underwritten in part by NSTA Press