During TDSB’s board wide PD session I attended and presented at the STAO Conference (Science Teachers Association of Ontario). I attended some great sessions and got some real inspiration from Steve Spangler. He not only showed some great demos but shared many heart warming stories. Spangler stressed the importance of never knowing which moment in teaching inspires which students. Students may resonate with something that was trivial to you but sticks with them. His story involved a retired grade 1 teacher who ran into her former student during breakfast one day. The student, now with a family of his own, asked if she remembered the grade 1 solar system activity and that it inspired him. She didn’t remember at first and then upon his further explanation she remembers hanging planets on the ceiling and kids pretending to fly to them. She thought it was just a fun activity but the former student said it inspired him. The student was part of the team that worked on the Mars rover.
Heading over to the STAO Tweet Up I got to meet some great educators that are also using social media personally and professionaly in the classroom with their students. Always great to get a real life visit with people you interact with online and consider a valuable professional development resource.
My presentation – “Using Technology and Social Media to Explore STSE Issues”
“Engaging students with technology and social media to explore STSE issues and student-led, research-informed action projects. Lesson plans, student examples and demos include netbooks, Wikispaces, Twitter, YouTube, VROC, and simulations.”
I felt the presentation went well with many engaged educators who not only were listening to me but interacting and sharing their own ideas. I love when I can go present at a conference at learn from others in my own presentation. I think it shows a whole new level of engagement and respect for the attendees as valuable participants.
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Thanks John for the photo!
Learning Virtually with Virtual Researcher On Call (VROC) Partnership between University of Toronto and TDSB.
Today our class had a virtual researcher in our grade 11 Chemistry class. Dr. Sanchita Bandyopadhyay-Ghosh joined us from the University of Toronto to talk about Green Chemistry. She is from Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing University of Toronto and works with biodegradable composites, cellulose nanofibres , biopolyol and biofoam.
Her lecture was informative discussed the major links chemistry has to industry and the environment. She graciously shared her work in the field and discussed the next steps. She challenged to students to enter into science fields to fix the problems we have and make a sustainable future. She shared her passion for the environment and told the students how she got involved and why she keeps on working in this field.
“2050 ‘biological capacity’ equal to two planet earths would be required to keep up with humanity’s resource demands and waste production.”
VROC has proven to be an excellent tool for the classroom. We were able to link chemistry to a researcher in the field and look at the environmental impact.
Thank you Carol from VROC and Dr Sanchita Bandyopadhyay-Ghosh for participating in an enriching learning experience on Green Chemistry with the Toronto District School Board.