The best way to teach science is hands on, right? That’s the conventional way, but the polar regions and the obstacle of over 9,000 miles between cutting-edge polar science and the scientists, teachers and students who could benefit from this interaction demand another way.
In June, Rutgers University departments of Marine and Coastal Sciences and 4-H Youth Development kicked off a unique Science Investigations (Sci-I) project, a four-day workshop for 21 educators in New Jersey and California who participated first-hand in an open-ended polar science investigation. The response was enthusiastic.
“The best part of this project is that it will help me bring real world experiences into my classroom and will support me thinking about how to teach authentic science,” said Matthew Fichter of Cranford Middle School, New Jersey.
Through hands-on activities, group discussions, scientist panels and field trips the teachers explored the data to make sense of it and to develop questions and hypothesis that were testable and finally to communicate their initial results.