CBU Faculty Provide Professional Development Workshops for Nova Scotia Science Teachers

CBU faculty from the School of Science and Technology and the School of Professional Studies provided four interactive workshops for teachers at the annual Nova Scotia Science Teacher Conference in Halifax on October 23, 2015. An interdisciplinary team of biology, chemistry and education faculty showcased their work on enhancement of elementary school curriculum to excite kids about science.

This 3-year project, funded by NSERC PromoScience program, focuses on hands-on, active learning strategies and connects science to locally relevant topics. A workshop on habitat linked diversity of life and relationships between different habitats was deliver with both topics being related to climate change “It is amazing how young kids can learn from interactive play,” says research assistant Anju Virick, CBU BEd graduate 2013 and elementary school teacher, who presented with Megan MacLeod, CBU BEd graduate 2013.

Biology professor Dr. Katherine Jones used examples of school gardens to integrate biology more effectively into the curriculum. Dr. Kathy Snow facilitated a workshop for teachers on designing  integrated units of work with a science focus using local resources. A new technique of teaching the periodic table of the elements was presented to high-school teachers by chemistry professor Dr. Matthias Bierenstiel. “Many high school students just memorize the periodic table and this new teaching technique allows students to learn fundamental principles in a playful way,” says Matthias Bierenstiel.

CBU faculty and staff provide a wide variety of science outreach programs. The Department of Education has started a new Certificate in Science Teaching for elementary school teachers who would like to improve their science backgrounds. The PromoScience team of Jones, Bierenstiel and Snow are preparing their Atlantic Science Knowledge (ASK) program and will have a two-day conference for teachers in Sydney in summer 2016.