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Twenty-four teachers from across Wyoming learned about the value of inquiry-based education at a weeklong workshop this month sponsored by the University of Wyoming's Science Posse.
The "Exploring Science Teacher Workshop" featured six inquiry-based activities -- including a six-hour investigation on parachutes, the development of questions around which to build a lesson using dry ice and an analysis of different approaches to teaching science by using tops. Teachers also toured various research labs on campus and learned more about the statewide outreach efforts of the Science Posse, a group of UW graduate students whose primary goal is to raise awareness and understanding of science.
All workshop costs, including UW Enrichment credits, were paid by the Science Posse.
"I like that we were not told how to teach, but rather (we) took on the roles of students learners," one teacher wrote in a post-workshop evaluation. "The suggestions for helping us use inquiry were simple, easy-to-use strategies. I thought the course was very well done."
Another teacher wrote, "I liked how the course has challenged me to re-evaluate how I teach science."
Teachers, by school district, who attended the annual workshop were:
-- Albany County School District 1: Suzanne English, Julie Howard, Kathleen Neill-Manker and Genee Witte (Indian Paintbrush Elementary School); Emily Hebbert and Sam Renken (Mae Olsen Education Center); Erin Klauk (Laramie High School); Samantha Suter (Snowy Range Academy);
-- Big Horn County School District 1: Peggy Seitz (Rocky Mountain Middle School);
-- Carbon County School District 2: Jami Krein and Brenda Morgan (Encampment School); Susan Marich (Saratoga Elementary School);
-- Crook County School District 1: Maylee Baron-Kanode and Debbie DeWitt (Moorcroft Elementary School); Angela Butts (Sundance Elementary School);
-- Fremont County School District 1: Codi Jorgensen (Starrett Junior High School);
-- Hot Springs County School District 1: Jennifer Weber (Thermopolis Middle School);
-- Laramie County School District 2: Nikki Poelma (Albin Elementary School);
-- Lincoln County School District 1: Jolene Bartlett and Janice Wergin (Kemmerer Elementary School); Brian Spicer (Kemmerer Middle School);
-- Platte County School District: Terry Lubeck (Wheatland Middle School) and Mary Skoog (West Elementary School);
-- Sublette County: Kim O'Connor (Big Piney Middle School).
For more information, or to learn more about the Science Posse, go the Web site at http://www.scienceposse.org.