Author Archives: Debra Shapiro

About Debra Shapiro

Associate Editor of member newspaper, NSTA Reports (www.nsta.org/publications/nstareports.aspx). Editor of Freebies for Science Teachers (www.nsta.org/publications/freebies.aspx) and NSTA Calendar (www.nsta.org/publications/calendar) pages. Follow me on Twitter: @Debra_NSTA

Teaching Agriculture to Elementary Students

“It is important for elementary students to learn about agriculture because there is a lot of illiteracy when it comes to agriculture. Social media is a main contributor to ag-illiteracy because there are a lot of negative social media campaigns … Continue reading

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Learning About STEM and Preventing Fires

After learning about fire dynamics— how fires start, spread, and develop— and doing hands-on activities with firefighters, eighth graders in Georgia’s Cobb County School District solve a virtual fire-related crime with help from an arson investigator as part of a partnership involving the district’s middle schools, the Cobb County Fire Department, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Continue reading

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Educating Students About Aerospace Careers

“212,000 pilots are needed for North America alone. 193,000 maintenance technicians are needed for North America alone…There’s a good opportunity for students to pursue aviation jobs. A student can start at a regional airline at $60,000 a year.” Continue reading

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Encouraging Creativity in STEM Class

Creativity often may be overlooked in science, technology, engineering, and
math (STEM), but STEM teachers are finding ways to make their lessons and courses innovative and encourage their students to be creative. Continue reading

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Learning About STEM Through BMX

Teaching students science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by connecting it with bicycle motocross (BMX), closed-course bike racing over natural or simulated rough terrain, is possible with programs from the American Bicycle Association’s USA BMX philanthropic arm, the USA BMX Foundation, located in Gilbert, Arizona. Continue reading

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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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