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Oklahoma State University

Science Education Students Gain Experiences Outside Traditional Classroom

Monday, September 14, 2015

Secondary science education students at Oklahoma State University have been given some unique and invaluable experience over the past few months. Julie Angle, science education associate professor, reported on some of their recent appointments and accomplishments.

Cara Stephens and Ashley Cast completed a five-week summer research experience under the mentorship of Dr. Rob Burnap and Dr. Andrew Doust from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Stephens was also selected to the National Weather Service’s climate change workshop for teachers held in Norman this past July.

Tyler Elbert, Aubrey Stearns, Caitlin Snider, Blaine Matheson and Joshua Harden were involved with the Yellowstone Science for Educators Course in June. The course focused on the science of Yellowstone. Science experts talked about plate tectonics, glaciation, extremophiles, and other subjects unique to the Greater Yellowstone Area. Students then traveled to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks to see the amazing natural phenomena of the area. Students developed a Standards-based inquiry lesson plan and presented their Yellowstone Science lessons at the June STEM Teacher Institute that was hosted by the College of Education and attended by elementary and middle school teachers.

For the fall semester five preservice teachers are serving as BIOL 1114 lab teaching assistants for the College of Arts and Sciences. Stephens, Joshua Encinas, Kayla Miller, Daniel Lyon and Chelsea Fortenberry were selected based on their strong science content knowledge and pedagogy skills. The BIOL 1114 TA positions are usually given only to master’s students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

"Achieving a scientifically literate populace is vital for the economic security and global competitiveness of our nation. Thus, preparing preservice teachers to become highly qualified science teachers is the goal of the secondary science education program in the College of Education,” Angle said. “Extending teacher preparation beyond the traditional classroom to include valuable learning experiences provides OSU preservice science teachers with a teacher preparation program that produces highly qualified in-service science teachers.”