Teachers Share Unexpected Insights at the Oklahoma Science Boot Camp

oklahoma4One of the benefits of traveling around the country with our Science Boot Camp Tour is getting to talk with teachers and learn from their insights. The Science Museum Oklahoma hosted a one-day workshop for area teachers and the response was great. I’ve invited participants to share some of their take-home ideas and ways they’re using the content from the workshop in their classroom (although it’s only been a few weeks).

I also heard two comments that I thought were interesting. One of the content areas we talk about in the workshop is the importance of recycling as it applies to soda bottles. A teacher commented that she hosted a group of foreign exchange students over the summer and was surprised to hear them comment about the size of our trashcans. Out of all of their experiences in the U.S. over the summer, they were amazed by the volume of trash Americans produce on a weekly basis. Enough said.

The second comment came from a pre-service teacher who shared this… “I was taught to use science as something the kids got to do at the end of the week… if they were good.” It’s reaffirming to know that kids love to do science and might possibly “be good” for an opportunity to get to do more science in class. But… it’s also important to realize that science is too often treated as an extra-curricular activity – something that is fun to do at the end of the week… if the kids are good.

Did these comments strike you in the same way? What are your thoughts?

Thanks to Sherry Marshall from the Science Museum Oklahoma and her staff for their great hospitality. If you’re ever in Oklahoma City, stop by the museum and be sure to catch the Science LIVE show. The presenters do an amazing job!

Getting to test drive one of the Segways at the museum is just another added perk.


6 replies
  1. Michelle Walsdorf Grady
    Michelle Walsdorf Grady says:

    The Oklahoma Hands-On Science Boot Camp for Teachers was an incredible experience!!! I had to go home and try the acitities out my kids, friends, and their kids!!! I enjoyed the activities, the encouragement, the ways to ensure that the kids are learning something from the activities, and the manner in which it was presented! My teaching has definitely been impacted.

  2. Ashly Hilburn
    Ashly Hilburn says:

    The Oklahoma Hands-On Science Boot Camp was GREAT!! I really look forward to using what I learned in the classroom. I have tried out all of the experiments on family members and friends but I have not started my student teaching yet and plan to use them then. I learned so much not only great experiments but how to really use them in my classroom everyday and be meaningful to students. I did share the information I learned with my college peers and some have signed up to go to Dallas. Thanks so much for the learning experience.
    Ashly Hilburn
    Durant Student Teacher

  3. Sue Ann Johnson
    Sue Ann Johnson says:

    The Oklahoma hands on science boot camp was wonderful. I had been looking forward to going to one of Steve’s workshops. It was as wonderful as I thought it would be. I look forward to going again. I took home several great ideas for my classroom. We just made lava lamps this past Friday. They were ready to take them home to show their parents. I just love all of his experiments.
    Thank you for this great learning experience.
    Sue Ann

  4. Cindy McCoy
    Cindy McCoy says:

    That was so much FUN!

    The pomp and pizzazz, gadgets and gizmos, and goo was great but I am ever mindful of ‘don’t let the Gee Wiz over take the lesson.’ You taught your lesson well.

    As for using some of your activities in the real world…

    As a 4-H Leader, ‘hands-on’ is my kind of life. So when asked at the last minute to have an activity for the kids…I pulled out my ‘Spangler Box’ and we blew things up! We worked with the soda in the cans… and not on the leader by tapping the sides. The kids loved making soda rockets. The grand finally was of course the Mentos in Coke. (Note: They may not have realized I taught about gasses being trapped in the liquid and all that stuff…)

    This was fun stuff, but I enjoyed presenting some of the activities at our Super Bowl party. But I must admit…it was more for the Gee Wiz! Racing to blow up the tubes (one party pooper read the instructions on the side of the plastic sack.What’s with that?)… Tying the knot or not tying the knot… the whole mess. The adults definitely loved the snow!

    Steve, your presentation was so memorable not just for cool science activities but for outstanding educational keys attached to them. With each ‘off the cool factor scale’ project I pull out of my ‘Spangler Box’ I cannot help but think what are we really wanting to learn here?

    Thank you,
    Cindy Mc


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *