Teaching with the community

When I saw the theme for this issue, Teaching with the Community, what came to mind was students visiting community resources such as museums, zoos, and parks on field trips or students and teachers using the community as a classroom. But the articles in this issue have other interpretations of “community.”
The State High Biodiesel Project describes a collaboration between the science department and the agricultural science program to turn fryer oil from the cafeteria into an alternative energy source. Perhaps other institutions in the community can learn from these students (and their teachers). On the web, you can find out how to Make Your Own Biodiesel and the authors provide the details of their lessons on Alternative Fuels
The community engaged in Collaboration at the Nanoscale consists of high school classes and university faculty. They formed a scientific community to study microbes and viruses safely, using advanced technology. For more information on the topic of microbiology, go to SciLinks and enter the term “micro” for lists of websites related to microbes, microbiology, microscopes, and electron microscopy.
Student research on a topic of interest to their communities, such as indoor air quality, is demonstrated in the article The Big Sky Inside.According to the authors, the data collected by the students is being used beyond the project to investigate other air quality issues. If you want to get some ideas for other projects, check out Solving Environmental Problems in SciLinks.
Use the article EQUIPping Teachers to learn how to change your classroom into a community of inquiry. The authors describe a tool/rubric that can help you improve the level of inquiry in your class activities. It’s an excellent article that everyone should read. For more information on inquiry, see Making It Inquiry 9-12 in SciLinks.

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