Science teachers engage in hands-on learning

By Brook Joyner and Sam Oldenburg

Ten middle school science teachers from across the United States make up the second cohort of National Stem Cell Foundation (NSCF) Scholars. The group will spend one week at WKU engaged in hands-on, minds-on science activities and planning challenge projects that they will implement in their schools in the coming year with funding from NSCF.

NSCF Scholars sand down pieces of wood to construct microscopes Monday, June 5. The design, which works with any tablet or smartphone camera, will provide an easy and inexpensive way for the teachers to bring more microscopes into their classrooms. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
NSCF Scholars sand down pieces of wood to construct microscopes Monday, June 5. The design, which works with any tablet or smartphone camera, will provide an easy and inexpensive way for the teachers to bring more microscopes into their classrooms. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Donna Shartzer of Hardinsburg drills holes in a piece of wood to create a microscope Monday, June 5. After building the microscopes, the scholars used them in a lab activity to identify different types of spices. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Donna Shartzer of Hardinsburg drills holes in a piece of wood to create a microscope Monday, June 5. After building the microscopes, the scholars used them in a lab activity to identify different types of spices. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Katie Donlin of Hayfield, Minn., explains her idea for her challenge project to her fellow NSCF Scholars Tuesday, June 6. Each scholar will present and refine a project idea throughout the week that they will then implement in their classroom throughout the next school year with funding from the National Stem Cell Foundation. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Katie Donlin of Hayfield, Minn., explains her idea for her challenge project to her fellow NSCF Scholars Tuesday, June 6. Each scholar will present and refine a project idea throughout the week that they will then implement in their classroom throughout the next school year with funding from the National Stem Cell Foundation. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Donna Shartzer of Hardinsburg uses a telescope to look at Jupiter and its moons at Chaney's Dairy Barn outside Bowling Green, Tuesday, June 6. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Donna Shartzer of Hardinsburg uses a telescope to look at Jupiter and its moons at Chaney’s Dairy Barn outside Bowling Green, Tuesday, June 6. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
A NSCF Scholar uses her iPhone to take a picture of the moon through a telescope Tuesday, June 6. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
A NSCF Scholar uses her iPhone to take a picture of the moon through a telescope Tuesday, June 6. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Jay Hollis from Brownsville tests the codes he drew to control an Ozobot Thursday, June 8. The Ozobots were used as mock bacteria, and the NSCF Scholars explored codes as mock DNA sequences to control the "bacteria." (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Jay Hollis from Brownsville tests the codes he drew to control an Ozobot Thursday, June 8. The Ozobots were used as mock bacteria, and the NSCF Scholars explored codes as mock DNA sequences to control the “bacteria.” (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Kiki Contreras, of Seattle fires her paper rocket into the sky Tuesday, June 6. The hang time was recorded for every rocket to see which design flew the highest. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Kiki Contreras, of Seattle fires her paper rocket into the sky Tuesday, June 6. The hang time was recorded for every rocket to see which design flew the highest. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Emily McKernan, from Dickinson Center, N.Y., tests her rocket on Tuesday, June 6. The rockets were made from paper, tape, and foam. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Emily McKernan, from Dickinson Center, N.Y., tests her rocket on Tuesday, June 6. The rockets were made from paper, tape, and foam. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
NSCF Scholars look on as a paper rocket is shot into the air Tuesday, June 6. Each scholar made a different sized rocket and then conducted an experiment to see which one flew the highest. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
NSCF Scholars look on as a paper rocket is shot into the air Tuesday, June 6. Each scholar made a different sized rocket and then conducted an experiment to see which one flew the highest. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
SKyTeach master teacher Rico Tyler explains telescope eyepieces to the NSCF Scholars before setting up a telescope for the scholars to use after sunset at Chaney's Dairy Barn outside Bowling Green Tuesday, June 6. Rico has taught physical science lessons to the scholars throughout the week. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
SKyTeach master teacher Rico Tyler explains telescope eyepieces to the NSCF Scholars before setting up a telescope for the scholars to use after sunset at Chaney’s Dairy Barn outside Bowling Green Tuesday, June 6. Rico has taught physical science lessons to the scholars throughout the week. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Julie Schell, a professor in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin, visits with NSCF Scholars and invited guests during a luncheon Wednesday, June 7. Julie is a prominent expert in pedagogy and has written and presented widely on pedagogical innovations, including flipped learning and peer instruction. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Julie Schell, a professor in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin, visits with NSCF Scholars and invited guests during a luncheon Wednesday, June 7. Julie is a prominent expert in pedagogy and has written and presented widely on pedagogical innovations, including flipped learning and peer instruction. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Val Pumala of Cameron, Wi., shares a story during the NSCF Scholars welcome dinner Sunday, June 4. The 10 scholars for the second cohort were chosen from over 150 candidates and came from nine different states. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Val Pumala of Cameron, Wi., shares a story during the NSCF Scholars welcome dinner Sunday, June 4. The 10 scholars for the second cohort were chosen from over 150 candidates and came from nine different states. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Katie Donlin (left) of Hayfield, Minn., and Donna Shartzer of Hardinsburg experiment with inexpensive alternatives to standard classroom microscopes on Monday, June 5. After learning about the alternatives, the NSCF Scholars built they own microscopes. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Katie Donlin (left) of Hayfield, Minn., and Donna Shartzer of Hardinsburg experiment with inexpensive alternatives to standard classroom microscopes on Monday, June 5. After learning about the alternatives, the NSCF Scholars built they own microscopes. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
John Lui from Dousman, Wi., puts the finishing touches on his microscope made Monday, June 5. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
John Lui from Dousman, Wi., puts the finishing touches on his microscope made Monday, June 5. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Dana Young, from Riverton, N.J., builds a microscope on Monday, June 5. The microscopes were made using wood, acrylic, and a lens. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Dana Young, from Riverton, N.J., builds a microscope on Monday, June 5. The microscopes were made using wood, acrylic, and a lens. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Julie Schell, a professor in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin, helps NSCF Scholar Dana Young of Riverton, N.J., work through a problem Wednesday, June 7. Julie presented several methods that the scholars could employ to better engage their students in deep learning. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Julie Schell, a professor in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin, helps NSCF Scholar Dana Young of Riverton, N.J., work through a problem Wednesday, June 7. Julie presented several methods that the scholars could employ to better engage their students in deep learning. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Suzanne Banas (left) from Miami codes her Ozobot with help from Kerrie McDaniel. A biology professor at WKU, Kerrie has taught life science lessons to the NSCF SCholars throughout the week. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Suzanne Banas (left) from Miami codes her Ozobot with help from Kerrie McDaniel. A biology professor at WKU, Kerrie has taught life science lessons to the NSCF SCholars throughout the week. (Photo by Sam Oldenburg)
Kiki Contreras (from left), of Seattle Wash., Cal Pumala, of Cameron Wi., and Angela Gospodarek, of Gorham, Me., work together during an escape room activity Monday, June 5. The scholars were split into teams and used the microscopes they made earlier in the day to solve clues. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Kiki Contreras (from left), of Seattle Wash., Val Pumala, of Cameron Wi., and Angela Gospodarek, of Gorham, Me., work together during an escape room activity Monday, June 5. The scholars were split into teams and used the microscopes they made earlier in the day to solve clues. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Dr. Paula Grisanti, the CEO and chair of the board of the National Stem Cell Foundation, gives a presentation to the NSCF Scholars Monday, June 5. She shared information about a variety of stem cell research being funded by NSCF. Paula also played a hand in choosing the 2017 cohort of 10 scholars for the program. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
Dr. Paula Grisanti, the CEO and chair of the board of the National Stem Cell Foundation, gives a presentation to the NSCF Scholars Monday, June 5. She shared information about a variety of stem cell research being funded by NSCF. Paula also played a hand in choosing the 2017 cohort of 10 scholars for the program. (Photo by Brook Joyner)
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