Thursday, December 22, 2011

Meeting Scientists

In college, I read an article for my science class about bringing scientists TO your classroom for an authentic learning experience. While reading it, I thought.. hmm? How on earth could I do that?

As a second grade teacher, my team brought in a crew of soil scientists to talk to our kiddos about soil and it was great! The kids (and teachers) liked it so much, we did it again the next year!

I wanted to bring this type of experience to my kiddos at Osage, so I started asking! Thanks to a good friend, I was introduced to Mr. Zach Paul. He's a meteorologist for KRCG News in Columbia, Missouri.  During our weather unit this fall, Zach graciously visited my classroom for an entire day and talked with my kiddos about the weather. They were so excited! Not only were they excited to have a REAL LIVE TV STAR in the classroom, but they were so intrigued by his line of work as well.

Filling our brains with weather knowledge!
Zach talked to us about all things weather his daily life. It worked out perfectly, because my kiddos had been studying clouds, the water cycle, and all that jazz so they could ask great questions. We even taught Zach our water cycle song!
Let's chat about the weather, Zach!

As you may (or may not) know, my class just finished its oh-so-wonderful unit on the solar system. Hands down, space is the most fun to teach! In a few posts, I mentioned how I was dying to take my kids on a field trip to space but the funds weren't available. (ha ha.. funny, I know).

Then, a wonderfully surprising thing happened! I received an email that Barbara from The Corner on Character had commented on my blog. She always leaves the most uplifting comments, so naturally I was excited to read it. Then, I had to read her comment again... and again...and again. Her comment offered a skype session with her husband who works for NASA!

Through Barbara's outreach, my students were able to Skype with her husband who works for the Johnson Space Center in Texas. Prior to our skyping session, I spoke with my principal, technology, and my team to make appropriate arrangements. The next thing I knew it was Monday morning and I was skyping with John and Barbara in Texas with 60+ students in my room!

First, we brainstormed a list of questions to ask John. I reminded the students SEVERAL times to ask thoughtful and meaningful questions. Besides, its not everyday that you get to speak with someone from NASA!

Hi John!
John talked with us about current missions, the planets, and a little insight on his work with NASA. Once again, my kids were enthralled and had millions of questions. Thanks to the power of technology, generous people (cough Barbara!), and this blog ... my kiddos got to experience something really great.

That's all folks!


  1. WOW that is so cool! I bet your class just loved this and learned so much!

    My Life as a Fifth Grade Teacher

  2. YAY - I just emailed you a few pictures of the Skype session from our end so you can show your class. We LOVE that you want to provide this kind of engaging and authentic learning experience for your little scientists!!


  3. I'm so proud of you, Jordan!!!!!
    Dr. H

  4. How very exciting that must have been for your students!!


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