Getting their hands on science

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By Mike Marsee
michael.marsee@education.ky.gov

In one room, teachers observed the phases of the moon using simple foam balls on sticks as they circled a single light bulb. And in rooms all around Lexington Center, presenters used everything from a giant Slinky to a syringe to a bag of marshmallows to show science teachers ways to engage their students.

In other words, it was a typical day at the Kentucky Science Teachers Association’s annual conference.

The group held its 43rd annual meeting Nov. 3-5 in Lexington, diving into a schedule of 110 presentations, workshops and activities. Teachers also heard from keynote speaker Joe Krajcik, who served as the lead writer for the Next Generation Science Standards, and from Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen L. Pruitt, who addressed the group at the end of his third week on the job.

Rian Embry, left, of Dayton High School (Dayton Independent) and Sarah Blackburn of Pikeville High School observe shadows created by their “planets” as they circle the “sun,” a light bulb mounted in the center of their circle during a session on refining explanations through argumentation. Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 6, 2015
Rian Embry, left, of Dayton High School (Dayton Independent) and Sarah Blackburn of Pikeville High School observe shadows created by their “planets” as they circle the “sun,” a light bulb mounted in the center of their circle, during a session on refining explanations through argumentation.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 6, 2015
Joe Krajcik, the lead writer for the Next Generation Science Standards, talks about how air is forced through a syringe as Nicole Gilb, left, of River Ridge Elementary (Kenton County) and Patricia Duncan of Discovery Education consider how to illustrate that on paper during a session on 3-D learning. Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 6, 2015
Joe Krajcik, the lead writer for the Next Generation Science Standards, talks about how air is forced through a syringe as Nicole Gilb, left, of River Ridge Elementary (Kenton County) and Patricia Duncan of Discovery Education consider how to illustrate that on paper during a session on 3-D learning.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 6, 2015
Jennifer McNulty, center, and Jennifer Thornton of Beaumont Middle School (Fayette County) talk with an exhibitor between sessions at November's Kentucky Science Teachers Association’s annual conference. Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 6, 2015
Jennifer McNulty, center, and Jennifer Thornton of Beaumont Middle School (Fayette County) talk with an exhibitor between sessions at November’s Kentucky Science Teachers Association’s annual conference.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 6, 2015
Craig Sowders of West Jessamine Middle School (Jessamine County) attempts to illustrate the movement of air through a syringe as Carole Bentley of Allen Central Middle School (Floyd County) looks on during a session on 3-D learning. Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 6, 2015
Craig Sowders of West Jessamine Middle School (Jessamine County) attempts to illustrate the movement of air through a syringe as Carole Bentley of Allen Central Middle School (Floyd County) looks on during a session on 3-D learning.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 6, 2015
Carlena Johnson of Eminence High School (Eminence Independent) takes notes during a session on implementation of science and engineering practices at the Kentucky Science Teachers Association's annual meeting in Lexington. Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 6, 2015
Carlena Johnson of Eminence High School (Eminence Independent) takes notes during a session on implementation of science and engineering practices at the Kentucky Science Teachers Association’s annual meeting in Lexington.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 6, 2015
Hillary McWhorter, right, of Glendover Elementary School (Fayette County), the 2015 KSTA Elementary School Science Teacher of the Year, talks with Jennifer McCain of Morehead State University during a session on dinosaur activities for preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 6, 2015
Hillary McWhorter, right, of Glendover Elementary School (Fayette County), the 2015 KSTA Elementary School Science Teacher of the Year, talks with Jennifer McCain of Morehead State University during a session on dinosaur activities for preschool and kindergarten classrooms.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 6, 2015

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