Category Archives: Teacher Spotlight

Amazing Teacher Sends Snow to Zambia Students

Donna Kaufman is a first grade teacher at Louisa May Alcott School. She goes above and beyond to not only bring science into her Chicago classroom, but into a classroom in Zambia, South Africa.

Zambia is located in central South Africa and is home to the spectacular Victoria Falls, game reserves and diverse wildlife.

Donna sponsors a child in Zambia through an organization called Spark Ventures. Spark Ventures partners with organizations around the world to help vulnerable children achieve their potential.

Through sponsorships the students are able to receive free education (since education is not free), free school supplies, medical check-ups, and hot meals every weekday all year. This is typically the only meal they have each day.

Donna’s sponsored child attends Hope Community, a school that serves grades 1-7 and has 9 teachers.

In February, the executive director and program director for Spark traveled to Zambia and brought classroom exchange materials. Donna’s students made a big book about Chicago landmarks and a book that described snow. A teacher translated the books from English to Bemba, which is the language the students speak.

Chicagoans are very familiar with snow, but the kids at Hope Community have never seen it.

After explaining the concept of snow, the kids were given Insta-Snow powder that Donna had sent.  The children’s faces lit up, their eyes widened while their jaws dropped as they watched a little bit of water turn little white flecks of powder into light, fluffy snowflakes in their hands.

This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the class of 45 children who rarely have the chance to do a stimulating science experiment, let alone experience something a world away.

Donna Kaufman is truly an amazing teacher who makes science fun in and outside of her classroom.

Teachers Make Math & Science Night Memorable

Delia Zepeda, a teacher at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School in Coconut Grove, Florida made science fun at the school’s Family Math, Science and Technology Night in January.

The school celebrated its third year of getting kindergarten to third graders excited about science, math and technology.

They used slime, Baby Soda Bottle Test Tubes, Geyser Tubes, Windbags and magnets from SteveSpanglerScience.com. A favorite was the One Breath Windbags.

Mrs. Zepeda shared their experience with all of us at Steve Spangler Science, “the wind bags were a big hit. We had so much fun watching the parents trying to blow them up the wrong way, we finally felt sorry for them and our student volunteers showed them the correct method.”

Continue reading Teachers Make Math & Science Night Memorable

Congratulations to Our Teacher Appreciation Winners

At the beginning of May, we asked you to nominate your favorite science teacher for our Teacher Appreciation Award.  The entries came pouring in, and we are excited to spotlight our winners.  Huge thanks to everyone who participated!  We found some truly remarkable teachers out there and we are excited to feature them here… and each of our winners gets a $35 gift certificate to use at SteveSpanglerScience.com!

Continue reading Congratulations to Our Teacher Appreciation Winners

Show and Tell Takes on a Science Twist – Five Year Old Makes Science Fun

scott-science-guyIf you think back to your “show & tell” days, you probably brought your favorite stuffed animal or action figure to school. But some teachers are raising the bar by turning show & tell into more of a “demonstrate and learn,” and this little demonstrator is only five years old.

The Wilder Community Preschool is based in Littleton, Colorado and has an enthusiastic and knowledgeable team of teachers who focus on getting their children involved in their own learning on so many levels. I first introduced readers of this blog to the Wilder Preschool staff back in 2007 when I featured the staff on our 9News Mad About Science television segment. In terms of teaching science, the Wilder Preschool staff – Jane Carson, Julie Peterson and Betsy Henry – help their children build connections between clever science activities and real-world applications.

The budding young scientist pictured above – Science Guy Scott – is sharing a science experiment about finding the water-slurping powder in a brand new baby diaper. Believe it or not, toy manufacturers use the same water-absorbing powder (yes, it’s safe to touch and squeeze between your fingers) to make those creatures that grow in water.

It’s great to see early childhood professionals who are really teaching science and using the “gee-whiz” factor to encourage children to wonder, discover and explore their world.

Teacher Appreciation Month – Honor Your Favorite Science Teacher

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Note from the Editor, May 15th – Our Teacher Appreciation Contest has ended.  We will be picking the winners today.  Thanks to everyone who submitted their awesome teachers for the contest.

This is one of the greatest parts of my job – I always look forward to Teacher Appreciation month. My team at Steve Spangler Science would like to help you recognize and honor an outstanding science teacher in your community. If there’s a science teacher who has made a positive impact in your child’s life, done something great for the school or is just a great teacher, let us help you honor that person.

giftcertificate409This year we are giving away thirty gift certificates to SteveSpanglerScience.com valued at $35 each and your favorite teacher might be one of the lucky recipients.

While coffee coupons and mugs with clever sayings are the standard, we want to give you a chance to be creative and say thank you to an outstanding science teacher by allowing him or her to select their own gift. There are over a thousand cool science toys and hands-on science activities at www.SteveSpanglerScience.com. We love to show our appreciation to great science teachers – we just need your help finding them. Continue reading Teacher Appreciation Month – Honor Your Favorite Science Teacher