It’s no secret that over the years and due to more standardized testing, science has become a backburner subject in many American elementary schools. Teachers often tell me they don’t have time to teach science, or don’t want to teach it at all.

Some aren’t comfortable with teaching science due to the lack of coursework they were given while earning their degrees, but the truth is, most colleges only require four hours of methods and strategies for teaching science out of approximately 120 credit hours needed to earn a degree in elementary education.

So how do we empower teachers with the knowledge, time, and tools they need to not only teach STEM topics, but also do so with vigor and passion? I’ve outlined five ways I believe can help teachers not only embrace STEM subjects, but also inspire students while following the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Position on Teaching Science.

Here are the five ways:

1. Infuse scientific literacy into your classroom: Science isn’t just about the scientific method

An article posted by the National PTA on the importance of developing scientific literacy throughout K-12 states, “Scientific literacy matters, regardless of what career path your child chooses to pursue”. I couldn’t agree more. Today, we put a huge emphasis on STEM careers and fail to understand that not every student wants to become a scientist or engineer; however, today’s students will participate in a society that requires critical thinking and an understanding of the world around them. It is an absolute must that every student graduate with the skills to work in a complex world. How can we help them gain those skills?

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About the Author:

Miss Science(TM) Sherri Smith-Dodgson is a STEM consultant that “Makes SMART Cool!” Growing up, Sherri lacked the confidence to excel in Science. Maybe it was her 7th-8th grade science teacher pinching her cheek and telling her “I KNOW THERE’S A BRAIN IN THERE SOMEWHERE SWEETHEART” or maybe it was because she was continually told that “Boys are good at Math and Science and Girls are good at Reading and Writing.” Sherri didn’t let that stop her ,and after many years as a classroom teacher and science educator in 2009 Miss Science was born!

It is the mission of Miss Science to make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fun and relevant for everyone. As a contributor for several television and radio shows in the Florida market, Miss Science shares with viewers the importance of STEM learning through easy, engaging, hands-on demonstrations. As a leader in informal STEM education Sherri travels nationally to promote STEM learning through presentations, student workshops, summer camps,and teacher workshops/professional development.


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