Science 28 • Multidisciplinary 30 • Computer Science 32 • Digital Citizenship 34 • Tip 36
By Jared Mader and Ben Smith
Make Science Real
achallenge that science educa- tors face is the need to create meaningful and relevant connections between their content and
the scientific community. The task is
neither new nor any more important
than it was decades ago. In the past,
teachers organized field trips, showed
videos, invited class speakers, or assigned journal and magazine readings.
While these approaches can be engaging, they take a great deal of planning
and significant fiscal resources.
The very technologies that connect
scientists to each other are the same
tools that classrooms can use to meet
scientists in their “natural habitats”—
the lab, the field, or wherever their
careers may take them.
While rich in their own right, these
virtual interactions will be even more
powerful if you give students the opportunity to see how experts in the
field apply what the students have
been learning or doing in the classroom. It may be just the incentive
your budding scientists need to pursue a career in one of the many fields
you expose them to.
NASA’s Digital Learning Network.
Engaging with scientists from the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is now at your fingertips
through these free and interactive
webcasts and videoconferences that
allow students of all ages to work hand
in hand with NASA’s experts and educational specialists. Educators can find
a list of upcoming events related to
astronomy, physics, algebra, and more
on the website. Each event provides
teachers with downloadable educator
guides and tips on what students need
to have on the day of the event.
The JASON Project. If your classroom
adventures lead you into a world of
nature exploration, then this project
may be the right fit. You and your
students can engage with hurricane or
tornado researchers live from the U.S.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA). Working
side by side with leading experts from
NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Department
of Energy, and the National Geographic Society, educators can use the
JASON curriculum to teach about
weather, ecology, and energy.
The New York Hall of Science.
Students can explore selected exhibits,
demonstrations, and activities live
from the hands-on science and technology center. Connecting students
with the actual “explainers” from the
museum allows them to see scientific
principles happen. Teachers can get
supporting materials and instructions
on the site.