Author Archives: Debra Shapiro

About Debra Shapiro

Associate Editor of NSTA Reports

Adding Inquiry to ‘Cookbook’ Labs

“I have converted several standard labs from AP Physics 1 to more engaging inquiry labs using NGSS [Next Generation Science Standards]. I want my labs to connect to my students’ lives, phenomena they see and feel every day,” says Jose Rivas, AP Physics 1 and engineering teacher at Lennox Math, Science, and Technology Academy in Lennox, California. Continue reading

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Podcasting in the Science Classroom

“Make sure [you convey] what you want students to learn [when they make podcasts]. The content is more important than the technology; learning outcomes are more important,” Basler emphasizes. Continue reading

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Engaging in Authentic Research

Looking for an opportunity for you and your students to do authentic scientific research? Then programs like Rutgers University’s Waksman Student Scholars Program (WSSP) and the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) might be for you. Continue reading

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Reflecting on the Flipped Classroom

Since educators began adopting flipped classroom strategies—in which instruction that typically occurred in class happens outside class, and instructors help students apply what they learned during class—many have developed new perspectives and new methods. Continue reading

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Learning Wins in STEM Games

Jamie Easley, eighth-grade science teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School in Dubuque, Iowa, says she created Science Ball—a baseball-like game—“to make test review interesting [for students]…It’s important to find every way possible to increase engagement and interest in the material we’re teaching, especially if it’s an unusual way to do it,” she contends. Continue reading

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Helping Students Develop Perseverance

While some people use the terms “perseverance” and “grit” interchangeably, David Upegui, science teacher at Central Falls High School in Central Falls, Rhode Island, has a different view. Continue reading

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Connecting Businesses and STEM Students

How can teachers help students explore science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career paths? One way is to have them do a project with a local business, according to David Lockett, STEM teacher at Edward W. Bok Academy in Lake Wales, Florida. Continue reading

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Combining Science and Civic Literacy

Why should teachers blend science with civic literacy? Because “happiness comes from being part of something bigger than yourself…Students get to understand and research community issues…[and] serve as ambassadors in the community,” asserts Tom Condon, who co-teaches the Citizen Science Institute (CSI), a districtwide magnet, alternative program housed at Marshall Middle School in Olympia, Washington. Continue reading

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Summer PD for Teachers in National Parks

“I [couldn’t] believe I was getting paid for this,” says Eric Riemer, fourth- and fifth-grade science teacher at Park City Elementary School in Park City, Kentucky, of his experience this past summer as a National Park Service (NPS) Teacher Ranger Teacher (TRT).  Continue reading

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Redesigning the Science Fair

Schools and teachers are transforming traditional science fairs into events incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) or STEAM (STEM plus Arts). Continue reading

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