Twelve pre-service student teachers from the NC State College of Education’s science education programs presented at the North Carolina Science Teacher Association (NCSTA) annual professional development institute in Winston-Salem, N.C., Nov. 14-15.
Erin Lisi ’20, a secondary science education student, shared about her family’s experience with weather ballooning. Her family’s organization, Lisi Near Space Projects, has launched and successfully recovered seven weather balloons. During her presentation, she gave attendees a guide on how to start weather ballooning effectively and provided lesson plan ideas involving weather, climate change, space and the like.
“It was extremely fun to show how easy it can be to start and where teachers can incorporate it in their classrooms to show many different kinds of science exploration and discovery,” Lisi said.
In all, nine students from the Master of Arts in Teaching program and three undergraduates presented activities ranging from physical to life sciences at Share-A-Thon, a breakout session for in-service teachers to learn about new activities or lessons that can be taught to their students.
“Presenting these activities enables our students to network with in-service teachers and demonstrate their pedagogical content knowledge,” said Penny Shumaker Jeffrey, Ph.D., teaching assistant professor and program coordinator for science education.
The Share-A-Thon session is a great way for in-service teachers to learn new ideas for teaching science in their North Carolina classrooms, she added. Pre-service teachers from the college’s science education programs have participated in this event for more than five years.
Logan Boyles ’20, a physics and science education double major, showcased an anchoring event that involved a large box with a balloon trapped inside. Attendees had to predict what the direction of acceleration of the balloon would be relative to the box when it was given a hard push to one side. By doing this demonstration, Boyles learned new tricks that helped make his demonstration run more smoothly and learned of similar anchoring events.
“Attending the NCSTA Conference was a fun and insightful experience. While I attended other sessions, I feel like I learned the most from the ways people responded to my own,” Boyles said. “Share-A-Thon went much better than I had imagined, and it had multiple times the number of attendees than I expected. It was an experience I hope to repeat in the future as a full-time teacher.”