Attendees Take Science Activities and Excitement Back to their Classrooms
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Elementary and middle school science teachers, from all around Region II, gathered at Jefferson Lab on April 11 for a “science-ed pep rally” that combined networking, scientific door prizes and hands-on classroom activities. The event had them leaving the Lab energized about science and ready to bring what they learned to their classrooms.
Teacher Night provides professional development for participants in the Jefferson Lab Science Activities for Teachers (JSAT) program for 5th, 6th and 8th grade science teachers and is designed to build teachers' skills in the physical sciences. This forum helps increase their comfort level presenting in the classroom and to their peers. Demonstrations were separated by grade level so that teachers could focus on the grade level they teach, however they were encouraged to visit other hands-on demonstrations such as the Noodle Bridge Experimental Design Lab and Candy Compounds (featuring gumdrops). Activities are designed to teach Standards of Learning (SOL) concepts in many areas, including matter, energy transfer, force and motion.
Melissa Brichacek is a teacher at Grassfield High in Chesapeake and a veteran of JSAT, who was mentored by Tonya Bates, a teacher from Hugo Owens Middle School. Both Brichacek and Bates are currently instructors for the JSAT program for 8th grade teachers. Brichacek pointed out the immense value of this type of event, beyond the simple accumulation of activities and ideas. “Tonya mentored me and now we both have a chance to mentor other science teachers,” said Brichacek. “JSAT provides resources and support for science teachers that are not available elsewhere.” Melissa and Tonya were also there demonstrating activities to the scores of teachers who came to enhance their skills - answering questions, demonstrating, and swapping tips and stories with other teachers.