The Environmental Adventurers Program is finally beginning and I am the fortunate teacher who gets to be a part of it! My name is Stephanie and I am the teacher fellow for the program. I am a 7th grade teacher at Perspectives Middle Academy and I have had the pleasure of working with Project Exploration for a long time. In 2009, I was a member of the Science Teacher Summer Institute. During that time, I learned a lot about paleontology, geology, and astronomy. I worked alongside scientists and even got a chance to collect and dig up dinosaur bones alongside a paleontologist in Montana. It was the experience of a lifetime and I have used what I learned that summer in my classroom ever since. My amazing students love the evolution unit because of all of the hands-on and engaging activities that I learned during the Science Teacher Summer Institute. This is one of the main reasons that I was so excited to be able to work with Project Exploration again, especially with ecology as the focus.
My role as the teacher fellow for the Environmental Adventures program has two parts. The first part is to help facilitate activities and work with the incredible young scientists who are in the program. The second part of my job is to create a series of lesson plans from the activities that we do throughout the week for my classroom. These lesson plans will also be shared with teachers around Chicago and perhaps even the nation!
There are so many things that I can’t wait to experience this week! First, we are so fortunate to work with, Rebecca Tonietto, a local Bee Ecologist. I know that we are going to learn a lot from her. I can’t wait to hear the questions that our students have and the research questions that they come up with and will study. I can’t wait to study native bees and create my own personal collection. It’s going to be a great week! Let’s get started!