Eureka! Grade 3–5 Science Activities and Stories

1. State the focus of the workshop and its relevance to the ASTE membership.
The focus of the workshop is for attendees to participate in some of the 27 lessons linking non-fiction historical trade books and science content for grades 3-5. Eureka! Grade 3–5 Science Activities and Stories brings science to life wherein children learn about the personal traits of well-known scientists as they are portrayed in 27 biographic trade books. Chapters introduce complementary skill-building, inquiry investigations to highlight the science processes and the human nature of scientists’ endeavors. This book offers a practical way teachers can encourage scientific thinking via trade-book-linked lessons and stories of known and little-known scientists and their work. While teachers might introduce the human dimension of science by inviting local scientists and engineers into the elementary classroom, these visitations require considerable planning. We propose Eureka! lessons will be easier to arrange and can fill the void when qualified professionals are not accessible.
ASTE membership would be interested in this book because trade books are frequently used to integrate literacy and science instruction to maximize students’ understanding of specific content-related concepts. As a result, many “how-to” teacher books, that incorporate literacy and content-focused science instruction, are already on the market. However, we are not aware of any “how-to” teacher books that focus on the human endeavor of scientific inquiry as demonstrated through biographic children’s literature. Eureka! introduces literature-based strategies that both enhance hands-on science instruction and deflect stereotypical conceptions (i.e. gender, race) about who scientists are and where they work.

2. Include an outline of the workshop that shows the sequence and duration of workshop activities.

9:00 Intro & Welcome, Book Layout

9:15 NGSS Book Layout

9:30 Charles Darwin, Scientists are PUZZLER, One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Life of Charles Darwin by Kathryn Lasky
10:00 Ada Byron Lovelace, Scientists are INNOVATIVE, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wallmark
10:30 Elijah McCoy, Scientists are CLEVER, All Aboard! Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine Engine by Monica Kulling
10:55 Wrap- up

3. List the learning objectives of the workshop, briefly describe the instructional strategies you will be using, and how you will judge the effectiveness of your workshop.
The learning objectives for the workshop will be to demonstrate the NGSS Practices in these lessons focused on a particular trade book about a scientist. We will model the lessons and the audience will be active participants. We will evaluate from the audience conversation and participation for effectiveness.
4. Will you make yourself available to the participants after they return to their places of employment should they have questions or need assistance? How will you do this?
Yes, we will provide our emails and phone numbers for assistance implementing the activities.
5. Explain who within the ASTE membership would be most interested in your presentation (e.g., methods instructors, educational researchers, curriculum developers, etc.) and why.
This book is intended to expand opportunities for elementary teachers and elementary teacher educators to explicitly address the nature of science and the work of scientists in their science instruction. We expect teachers might think to invite scientists into their classrooms, but opportunity for oral reading of trade books can occur much more frequently than visits by a scientist. It is important to note that Eureka! book suggestions and activities are not intended to replace the allotted science time, but rather to enrich the current curriculum and allow students the visual representation of scientists. For this reason, we believe those individuals engaged in professional development for elementary teachers and science teachers and university method’s professors would also find this book valuable.
Eureka! will help elementary teachers organize science lessons that encourage students’ development of 1) confidence and skills in STEM processes and 2) knowledge and awareness of STEM career fields. Eureka! will guide teachers’ explicit use of trade books to humanize and personalize children’s science learning via biographical stories of real-world people who pursue science and engineering methods and aspire to make the world a better place. This understanding of STEM as a human pursuit to understand and manage the quality of life is fundamental to scientific literacy and STEM career aspirations.

6. Describe the expertise/experience of the workshop presenters to present in the topic area.

Donna Farland-Smith
I have created an innovative and more accurate way to score children’s pictures of scientists called the Draw-A-Scientist Rubric. The rubric is a lens by which researchers and teachers can analyze students’ drawings with more precision than earlier approaches. As such, this instrument allows us to gain a deeper understanding of how children are being socialized around scientific knowledge and science-based identities.

Julie Thomas
My research has focused on the development of elementary teachers’ science knowledge, skills, and beliefs related to the teaching of science. These interests guided my exploration of preservice teachers’ science identity and beliefs and development of the Draw-A-Science-Teacher Test (parallel to the Draw-A-Scientist Test). This research helped me to guide teachers’ self-awareness and opportunity for personal growth and skill as an elementary science teacher. In recent years, I became increasingly interested in understanding children’s STEM knowledge, beliefs, and values and the ways in which these influence children’s STEM career awareness. Most recently, I have been engaged in research related to the ways in which parents and teachers’ wield influence on children’s STEM achievement and STEM career awareness (i.e. self-efficacy, growth-mindedness). In my thinking, Eureka! will guide parents’ and teachers’ efforts to encourage STEM learning and inspire STEM career aspirations!

7. Provide a budget for the workshop indicating the amount (if any) each participant will be charged. What is the number of people the workshop is intended to serve? If there is a cost for attendance, please specify how this money will be used. Indicate the material and technological needs for this workshop. What are the texts, handouts, videos, etc., required in order to implement this session?
There is no charge for the workshop. Our book, Eureka! Science Activities and Stories will be available for purchase following the workshop but it not a required purchase.