We’re pleased that we get to share things through a variety of outlets. In the last year or so we have been fortunate to have a partner in the Natural History Museum of Utah through their “Teaching Toolboxes.” (When you picture a “toolbox,” you need to picture the very largest contractor-grade toolbox you can imagine, filled with something like a collection of rocks and minerals, or dinosaur fossils, or field tools, or …. ) We provide an outlet for teachers to borrow these toolboxes right here from the CSME at Weber State. This is great because teachers in northern Utah have greater access to a collection of these kits, as well as the fact that we get to play with them.
Last week we expanded our partnerships to work with Red Butte Garden when they delivered their Ethnobotany Bin: People and Plants, packaged in much the same way that NHMU configures its kits. This one is jam packed with planet samples pressed in dedicated cases, as well as a variety of tools and a diverse set of lesson plans. We can imagine this being used in lots of classes, but perhaps it is most especially catered to 4th grade classrooms since there is a focus on native plants and their uses within our state through its rich history.
To check out this or any of our kits, visit this page with the checkout form. We love to see these resources get used. And, stay tuned as we get ready to release another very exciting toolbox in the very near future.
The Center for Science and Math Education is currently seeking applications for a new, full time, Director. This is exciting for us, since we have not had a dedicated position like this for several years, instead using faculty reassignments to partially cover some of the work that goes on here. With this new position, the CSME will be able to reestablish its operating capacity, as well as expand in the future. The new director should have a doctorate in science or math education (or a closely related field) and should be interested in:
- working with faculty here at Weber State, such as an assembly of College of Science faculty who advise and work closely with the CSME. This is especially the case with our science teacher educator (Adam Johnston, currently stretching his position from physics to cover some CSME tasks … such as writing this post), our brand new math education faculty member (Rachel Bachman), our planetarium director (Stacy Palen, physics), and others who advise preservice teachers and work with inservice teachers during the school year and summers.
- working with local school districts and teachers, especially those in northern Utah. We currently work with two districts as we pilot professional development aimed at revamping science curricula; and we’re actively pursuing scholarships and ongoing professional support for brand new teachers.
- working with leaders across the state to promote and enhance science and math education at all levels. Our CSME has a long history of working closely with other state agencies, including our state office of education.
And, there are many other possibilities and ongoing collaborations, as searching this webpage should suggest. Scholarly and grant writing activities, as well as community outreach, all play well with our current collection of activities and our ambitions for the future.
The full ad, list of qualifications, and instructions for applicants, is here:
Our initial review of applicants begins as soon as January 17th. Questions or clarifications are welcome. Contact Adam Johnston (email@example.com) for more information.
This past weekend I was working with some 5th-grade teachers on electricity and magnetism, and one of the great scientists that we invoke is Michael Faraday. The electricity you use on a daily basis that magically comes out of those outlets in your home is all a result of Faraday’s law of induction, the principle behind the generation of electrical energy from some kind of motion energy. (Around here, most of that comes from coal burning to boil some water and turn a turbine.) Beyond this, Faraday was known for his ability to understand and communicate science, and his tradition of bringing science demonstrations to the public was unrivaled. The Faraday Christmas Lectures that he initiated in 1826 became an annual tradition.
We’re lucky to have a new university president, Chuck Wight, who is continuing this lecture tradition, together with our Chemistry Department, here at Weber State. While this has been hosted at the University of Utah for many years when President Wight worked as a chemist and administrator there, the tradition is now brought here to our university. The CSME has no hand in this, but we’re confident that everyone should go. The event is hosted in Lind Lecture Hall 225/226 this coming Monday and Tuesday (December 16 and 17) evening, starting at 7:00 PM. Link here for more information. We hope to see you there!
You’re invited …
Center for Science and Math Education
Teacher Kit Open House
Monday, October 28th, at 4:00 PM
CSME Classroom, Lind Lecture 230, Weber State Ogden Campus
(Free parking available in W5 lot, directly east of Lind Lecture)
This Monday we are welcoming Ogden teachers who would like to peruse materials available for checkout to be used in their own classrooms. We will highlight the “toolboxes” created by the Natural History Museum of Utah and available for free checkout through the CSME. Come join us for this informal orientation, a chance to play with our kits, and time to give us feedback about your needs and future kits for us to develop.
RSVP (suggested by not required).
S4, also known as the “Science and Society Seminar Series” (but it’s more fun to say “S4″), was recently announced and is currently taking registrations. This series invites high school students to participate in a 6-week series of presentations from researchers in science, mathematics, and related fields.
This year we’ve created a program that highlights work done by Weber State faculty alongside their students, and in many cases the presentations are co-hosted by the student researchers. Topics range from molecules to microbes to astrophysics, all aimed specifically at motivated high schoolers. We’ve also limited registration to 30 participants so that there can be more interaction between participants and presenters. Our hope is that high school students can see just how close they are to making their own connections with scientists and doing this kind of research for themselves.
More information and registration is available on the S4 page. Students who attend 5 of the 6 presentations (starting on Wednesday, October 16, and continuing each Wednesday) will receive a certificate and a special science gift or book.