Blog

Creative teaching from plate tectonics to plant pollinators

Teacher Ambassador Christine Fernandes

Christine Fernandes began as a horticulture major at Pennsylvania State University, but transferred to agricultural education so she could become a teacher. She absolutely loves her career choice. She learned about the Concord Consortium through a listserv from her alma mater. We’re collaborating with Penn State on our GEODE project to develop new geodynamic plate tectonic modeling software for middle school students. The software is designed to allow students to observe and describe the formation of surface geologic features in terms of plate interactions. Christine explains, “It really clicked for the students, seeing what was happening below the ground in relation to the size and magnitude of the earthquakes along the western coast of South America.”

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From “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side”

Andrew Njaa and InquirySpace teacher

“Getting out of the classroom and into the world.” That’s the most exciting thing about education today, explains Andrew Njaa. A philosophy major at a liberal arts college isn’t the most obvious path to teaching physics. But after graduating from St. John’s College in Santa Fe in 1984, a new fellowship collaboration between St. John’s, the University of New Mexico, and Santa Fe Public Schools changed the course of his career plans. Andrew completed an internship learning how to teach and teaching math at Santa Fe Technical High School. He was convinced that he wanted to be in the classroom.

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Learn How to Solarize Your School

Find out how high school students can design and evaluate efficient and affordable solar power systems—even for their own school—in the November/December 2018 issue of The Science Teacher. Co-authored by Concord Consortium researchers Jie Chao, Charles Xie, and Corey Schimpf, with education consultants Joyce Massicotte and Jeff Lockwood, and Stoughton High School science teacher Craig Beaulieu, […]

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Earth as a giant water filter: Students learn to engineer clean water

Water Filter

An article in the October 2018 issue of Science and Children looks at groundwater and the natural processes of infiltration as a vital means for cleaning our water. Co-authored by Jonathon Kilpatrick (Greenwood Elementary School in Pennsylvania), Nanette Marcum-Dietrich and John Wallace (both of Millersville University of Pennsylvania), and Concord Consortium Senior Scientist Carolyn Staudt, […]

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Scott Cytacki: A software architect who champions open-source software development

Scott and Kids, Elf

Figure 1. Software architect Scott Cytacki with his three kids in their solar-powered ELF. You may not know Scott Cytacki by name but if you’ve used STEM Resource Finder curriculum materials or an InquirySpace investigation or a Model My Watershed activity, or any number of our educational resources, you can appreciate Scott’s deep commitment to […]

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California teacher shows students how to tell stories with data

Matthew D'Aalessio

Most teachers have a first-year-teaching story. Few have one like Matthew d’Alessio’s. His first teaching experience was at California’s notorious San Quentin State Prison, the largest prison in the country, where he taught math and geology in the Prison University Project, the only college program inside a California prison. “The students were among the most […]

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SageModeler speaks many languages: Localizing our popular systems modeling application

As our senior software engineer Kirk Swenson said in a recent @Concord article, the Concord Consortium is all about impact: getting more students in more places doing STEM inquiry. Since only about 5% of the Earth’s population speaks English as a first language, it makes sense to reach beyond English to make our free resources […]

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