On the Radio: UI hosts climate workshop for science teachers

Iowa middle school science teachers participate in a presentation lead by UI Professor Scott Spak. Photo by Brynne Schweigel.

Listen to this week’s radio segment on a UI workshop that helped Iowa science teachers incorporate environmental and climate issues into their classroom.  You can also check out some lesson plans and classroom activities here.

It’s never too early to start educating children about science and their environment, which is why the University of Iowa is working to improve the skills and knowledge of middle school science teachers. Continue reading

UI hosts workshop for middle school teachers

UI Professor Scott Spak demonstrates a potential classroom experiment for the 24 teachers in attendance. Photo by Brynne Schweigel.

The University of Iowa is doing their part in preparing science teachers to cover environmental issues in the classroom. Professor Charlie Stanier and PhD candidate Morgan Yarker recently led a workshop helping middle school teachers develop curricula covering climate, weather and energy. While Professor Stanier was required to conduct an outreach activity as part of a grant, Yarker explained that the workshop went beyond the call of duty:

“Charlie Stanier received a National Science Foundation grant given to scientist who aren’t tenured yet, so that they’ll have money to do research,” said Yarker. “Like almost all NSF grants, you have to have an outreach component. I don’t know what most scientists do, but you don’t usually go to the extent of starting a workshop for teachers.”

Stanier and Yarker decided to focus their efforts on middle school teachers in order to help them adapt to Iowa’s upcoming education changes. Iowa is going to implement new state education standards called Iowa Core, whose goals include making middle school students more informed on Earth science topics, such as weather and climate. Continue reading