Wednesday, March 23, 2011

St. Mike's goes to San Francisco

One of the on-going successes at St. Mike's is the wonderful Teaching Gardens, a collaborative project between Professor Valerie Bang-Jensen (Education) and Professor Mark Lubkowitz (Biology). Last week, a new dimension was added to the project when Professors Bang-Jensen and Lubkowitz invited two students, Courtney Smith '12 (Education and Religious Studies) and Sara Williams '12 (Biology) to accompany them to the NSTA conference in San Francisco to make a formal presentation about the Books in Bloom Project, a section of the Teaching Gardens.

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference is a major international conference and it's quite an honor to have a paper accepted for presentation.

For Courtney Smith, a future elementary school teacher, the conference gave her insight into the role of science in education; "As presenters we were well received and I think we pulled off an engaging and informative workshop. This experience was exciting for me as an education student because it opened my eyes to the importance of science education in our schools by giving me helpful tips and strategies for enriching student learning."

For Sara Williams, a scientist, the conference inspired her to think about how non-scientists view science; "From attending the NSTA Annual Conference, I have learned to view science from a teachable perspective, and how important it is to communicate scientific concepts in a way that is understandable by an audience that may not be familiar with those topics. This experience has sparked an interest in me to become a biology professor.

While in San Francisco, they took in a few of the sites including a glimpse of the tsunami that devastated Japan as it arrived on the west coast of the US.

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