Ken Hawthorn started his career as a prototyping engineer working with early stage companies to develop proof-of-concept technologies: localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) in biotech to long-range electric motorcycles. After volunteering in an afterschool program to help academically and socially at-risk students, he discovered that engineering has a lot in common with teaching.
“Mrs. Bentley, how are you so smart?,” asked one of the kindergarten students in Laura Bentley’s class. Although she was embarrassed by the adoring question from this five-year-old, she knew that she was instilling a love of learning in her students.
Kristina Koster first became interested in teaching as a tutor for the TRIO Upward Bound program while in junior college. The program helps low-income, first-generation college-bound students get into and succeed in college by providing free afterschool tutoring, Saturday educational workshops, and college visits. Kristina recalls, “I was able to see that I could combine my love for helping people with my love for science.”
As a child, Emerlyn Gatchalian was always the teacher: “I’d always get the role of teacher whenever I had playtime with my friends.”
She began her formal teaching career in the Philippines, where a passionate chemistry teacher, who sometimes wore a magician hat and waved a fairy wand, inspired her love for teaching science. “She made learning so exciting and fun,” Emerlyn says. In 2005, after a decade teaching in the Philippines, Emerlyn came to the U.S., but, “Teaching here was so different.” Coming from a more disciplined classroom tradition, she wasn’t used to class management issues. So she sought additional training and learned to implement new classroom routines and policies.
Thomas Troy’s dream vacation includes a trip to the Arctic “to witness rapid climate change,” but the best adventure he’s ever had was much closer to the equator. He and his family spent five weeks on a homestay in Costa Rica where they took classes to learn Spanish, which were “both rigorous and rewarding.” While his family “took advantage of opportunities to get to know as many Costa Ricans (or Ticos) as possible, such as local clerks, waiters, and teachers,” they also found time to go snorkeling, bird watching, and swimming.
Before turning to teaching 9-11th grade, Toni Kaui spent ten years as an architect designing houses for wealthy homeowners. It did not inspire her. “I switched careers because I was tired of all the wasted resources,” she explains. Teaching had “more rewarding outcomes.” For her and for her students.
What do teachers do over the summer? Plan for the next school year, of course! Thirteen enthusiastic teachers from seven different school districts and four states (MA, ME, RI, and CA) spent four days conducting experiments in physics, chemistry, and biology, preparing to bring new technology, curriculum, and pedagogies back to their classrooms. Biology and […]
Across the country, every minute of every day, water glasses are filled from a tap, toilets are flushed, laundry is washed, and bathtubs are filled. Where does this water come from? Where does it go? Who helps to ensure this water is safe? A new project funded by the National Science Foundation’s ITEST (Innovative Technology […]
From its beginning, we at the Concord Consortium have advocated for the notion that young people can produce high-quality, meaningful data to answer real questions. More than 20 years ago, Concord Consortium founder Robert Tinker sketched a compelling vision for authentic science in schools and communities, making the case that anyone can be a scientist. […]
In 2018, we made an impact with 11 articles published in researcher and teacher practitioner journals that showcase the state of the field in STEM educational technology. Learn how automated scoring during formative assessment can diagnose and enhance students’ argumentation skills (#4), how modeling and simulation on a CAD platform can be used to teach […]