Author Archives: Debra Shapiro

Debra Shapiro

Associate editor of NSTA Reports, the association's member newspaper; contributing writer for the NSTA blog; and editor of the Freebies for Science Teachers and NSTA Calendar web pages. Follow me on Twitter: @Debra_NSTA

Engaging in Authentic Research

Looking for an opportunity for you and your students to do authentic scientific research? Then programs like Rutgers University’s Waksman Student Scholars Program (WSSP) and the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) might be for you.

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Reflecting on the Flipped Classroom

Since educators began adopting flipped classroom strategies—in which instruction that typically occurred in class happens outside class, and instructors help students apply what they learned during class—many have developed new perspectives and new methods.

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Learning Wins in STEM Games

Jamie Easley, eighth-grade science teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School in Dubuque, Iowa, says she created Science Ball—a baseball-like game—“to make test review interesting [for students]…It’s important to find every way possible to increase engagement and interest in the material we’re teaching, especially if it’s an unusual way to do it,” she contends.

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Helping Students Develop Perseverance

While some people use the terms “perseverance” and “grit” interchangeably, David Upegui, science teacher at Central Falls High School in Central Falls, Rhode Island, has a different view.

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Connecting Businesses and STEM Students

How can teachers help students explore science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career paths? One way is to have them do a project with a local business, according to David Lockett, STEM teacher at Edward W. Bok Academy in Lake Wales, Florida.

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Combining Science and Civic Literacy

Why should teachers blend science with civic literacy? Because “happiness comes from being part of something bigger than yourself…Students get to understand and research community issues…[and] serve as ambassadors in the community,” asserts Tom Condon, who co-teaches the Citizen Science Institute (CSI), a districtwide magnet, alternative program housed at Marshall Middle School in Olympia, Washington.

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Summer PD for Teachers in National Parks

“I [couldn’t] believe I was getting paid for this,” says Eric Riemer, fourth- and fifth-grade science teacher at Park City Elementary School in Park City, Kentucky, of his experience this past summer as a National Park Service (NPS) Teacher Ranger Teacher (TRT). 

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Redesigning the Science Fair

Schools and teachers are transforming traditional science fairs into events incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) or STEAM (STEM plus Arts).

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Building Electric Cars Enhances STEM Learning

Students around the country are learning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by designing, building, and racing electric cars.

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Building STEM Knowledge in a Breakerspace

A breakerspace—a makerspace workstation where students can disassemble toys, electronics, and appliances—engages students in learning what makes things work and investigating the world around them.

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