Welcome to the ElemenTS and ComP-OuNDS webpages!
I have a thing for chemistry and my acronyms actually stand for my research interests. ElemenTS (Elementary Teachers of Science) and ComP-OuNDS (Communication Partnerships: Opportunities for Negotiation and Delivery of Science). Stay tuned for more chemistry based acronyms. 🙂
This site focuses on the knowledge and practices of elementary teachers and STEM specialists working with elementary students. This project was originally created to meet the needs for access to science classrooms for preservice elementary teachers in order to teach science. Since Spring 2013, preservice teachers enrolled in Dr. Krista Adams’ elementary science methods course (TEAC 315) have developed and implemented science instruction at several local Community Learning Centers (CLC). The CLC provides access to K-5th grade students to develop and teach a science unit in the after school setting. Since the first semester, the project has grown to include all TEAC 315 instructors.
The project involves developing and implementing reform-based inquiry science lessons to K-5th grade students. The preservice teachers work in groups of 4-6 to develop a Science Club that focuses on a particular topic across 4-6 lessons. The group decides the topic (e.g., Penguins, Electricity) and what each lesson will include. Each teacher is responsible for developing and implementing one lesson to teach. If someone in the group is unable to teach in the CLC, these students develop a content video that supports the learning in the after school programs. Those doing the video are also required to teach a science lesson but this can be done with whomever and where ever they choose.
An added dimension with Dr. Adams’ course is the collaboration between her students and Dr. Jenny Melander’s Biomedical Engineering students (BSEN 317) began in Fall 2013.The first collaboration between the TEAC and BSEN students focused on the teaching and learning of content knowledge connected to biomedical engineering topics. The BSEN students helped the TEAC students determine how a topic could relate to something in biomedical engineering. In turn, the TEAC students helped the BSEN understand how to present their ideas in an appropriate manner to the K-5th grade students. The collaborations produced unique ideas connecting science to the real world. Bubble Buddies, K-2nd grade science club, focused on the properties of bubbles and connecting this to cells. Chemical Transformers, a science club focusing on physical and chemical changes, linked the content to the impact of bike helmets on the brain and DNA. The Shocking Secret group, focused on electricity, the 2nd grade students connected the properties of electricity to the body through the use of an EKG and a lie detector kit. Each group of preservice teachers and biomedical engineering students worked together in differing ways, but all made contributions to the learning of science for K-5th grade students.