A Moment for science


July 14, 2019

One of my favorite television shows is the Big Bang Theory. In my favorite episode, titled, The Contractual Obligation Implementation, Sheldon (played by Jim Parsons) and Leonard Hofstadter (played by Johnny Galecki) (IMDB, 2013) are tasked by the university they work for “to find a way to encourage more women to pursue a career in the sciences”.(Big Bang Theory, 2013.) In the early stages of how to plan for the initiative to reach more women to science they talk about different equitable approaches, many of which were addressing women at the college level. Sheldon then chimes in and says, “all their approaches are too. (They) need to design an outreach program to target girls at the middle school level and set them on an academic track towards the hard sciences.” (Big Bang Theory, 2013)

For the next generation of STEM and science professions to succeed students need early intervention and science programing. In the science academic teaching, reaching students in the early grades of elementary and middle school are then more likely to be interested and pressure a career in science later. (Berwick, 2019). By the time students are in entering college it is typically too late to interest one in the field of science.

In my lesson to address diverse learners, I wanted to introduce 6th grade students to careers in science. This lesson was targeted at all students, of all gender identities and diverse backgrounds. The lesson was broken down into five parts: engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate. In my lesson, students were engaged by reviewing pictures they had previously drew imagining what a scientist look like. Through explore, students would look at the careers of many scientists, famous or not, who came from many different diverse backgrounds. In explain, we would meet with a scientist where students would interview them to learn more about the work they do and the path they took to get there. In the elaboration section students would create question and time with the scientist to learn more. The lesson would conclude with the evaluate portion where students evaluate themselves and what different areas they could find an interest in science through a career evaluation.

I have used 5E lesson templates before, early in my teaching career and in my masters program in education. I think this type of lesson plan is great for someone just beginning their career in education. This format helps an educator include all five areas in their lessons, standard, any modifications needed for students. This template helps teachers know the material needed for students and the teacher, technology and classroom materials and goals for students. This style is also very useful in science education. To be realistic though, this lesson plan template is too extensive for a teacher to use on a daily basis. As I have grown in my craft many of the steps included in this template are incorporated into my planning but I do not have the time as an educator regularly to complete this time of template. I use the web based lesson planning software, Planbook. My lessons incorporate many of the sections included in template. In my lessons I am able to click on the standards I am teaching in the lesson and it keeps track of my standards and number of times taught throughout the year through a pre-genrated database. I also include objectives, “student will” and “teacher will” statements, technology and materials needs, overview of the lesson and any additional material need to be included in the lesson.

-IMDB. (2013.) Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2708314/

-Lorre, Chuck & Prady, Bill. Cendrowski, Mark. (2013.) The Contractual Obligation Implementation [The Big Bang Theory]

-Berwick, Carly. (2019, March 12) Keeping Girls in STEM: 3 Barriers, 3 Solutions. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/keeping-girls-stem-3-barriers-3-solutions