It’s just part of being a speaker… strange things happen while you’re on the road. I recently presented a full-day science training for teachers in the Chicago area when a lady approached me just prior to the start of the workshop. She wanted to know how long I had been speaking for Steve Spangler. I laughed and told her that I was Steve Spangler. Her immediate response was, “Oh, I heard that Steve doesn’t present workshops any more – he just sends someone out in his place.”
I’ve been speaking professionally for almost 18 years, and I’ve never been able to find anyone who wants my job! I later learned that this woman had attended a conference where one of our Spangler Science Ambassadors presented a workshop. It dawned on me that I haven’t talked much about our Ambassador program, and I can see where people might be confused.
The Spangler Science Ambassador Program started in 2004… with a group of highly talented elementary teachers from all parts of the country. The common thread that tied them all together was their stellar performance at the National Hands-on Science Institute (most of the teachers have attended several of the week-long workshops like Science in the Rockies offered since the Institute’s inception in 1991). Originally, I set out with a goal to create opportunities for each of the Ambassadors to share with other teachers their own best practices and classroom strategies for getting kids excited about science. I felt that each of these Ambassadors had something special to share, and presenting at a local, regional or even national education conference was the perfect forum.
The core competencies and presentation techniques taught at Science in the Rockies serve as the basic foundation of each presentation, but the hands-on science lessons come directly from each Ambassador’s classroom. Angela Morgan (now Angela Lambert – Ambassador class of 2004) continues to receive great reviews from teacher audiences who attend her science training workshops. Angela is a first grade teacher in the Brevard County School District in Florida. She does a great job of using the scientific method to teach her children how to think and act like a scientist. In the pictures above, Angela introduces teachers at the Florida Association of Science Teachers to lessons from her classroom using polymers, giant air bags and a make-and-take activity based on Grow Creatures.The Spangler Science Ambassador Program continues to be a great way to introduce the greatest number of teachers possible to our core principles and teaching philosophies for getting students engaged in the process of doing real science. So, if you’re attending a conference and you see a Spangler Science Ambassador listed on the program, rush to get a front row seat. You won’t be disappointed.