By 10:30 AM on Friday, March 10th, the place was out of control. Roughly 600 early childhood teachers who attended my featured session – How to Keep Your Children Excited about Science – were smacking each other with giant 8 foot long balloons and learning about carbon dioxide by dropping Mentos candy into 2-liter bottles of diet Coke. I think we broke the previous 16 foot record for erupting soda – the soda shot up and almost touched the 20 foot ceiling. Okay, why is doing this crazy stuff any better than making the 600 teachers sit through a PowerPoint presentation about teaching science?
Because great science teachers understand the need to make science come alive. It’s not about getting “kids” excited about science. … kids love science. It’s the teachers who have a problem with science because most of us had a science teacher in school that was as exciting and dynamic as a brick wall. Let’s be honest, these presentations are really about getting the TEACHER motivated to teach science and to integrate more science education into their classrooms. It’s about getting great early childhood educators excited about teaching something that can make a difference in the life of a child… and make the world a better place to live… and increase the number of times you laugh each day.
Gretchen Berhorst and her team from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education pulled off another amazing conference – great training sessions, great resources and just the right mix of fun to motivate and inspire some of Missouri’s best early childhood educators.