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Best of the Week 2019-2020: Teaching to the Future


Last week, Science Department Chair Mrs. Anne Marie Lavelle spoke at the National Science Teacher Association Area Conference in Cincinnati, highlighting the connections between science and literacy. Contributing to the theme, "Bringing the Universe to America's Classrooms," with a focus on three-dimensional teaching and learning powered by STEM, Mrs. Lavelle presented on "Teaching Weather and Climate with Digital Media," in collaboration with Dr. Shawn Stevens from WGBH and PBS LearningMedia. Mrs. Lavelle spoke about the abundance of data and virtual simulations available on educational websites that can be used in conjunction with lessons. These free, interactive resources empower students to use digital technology to understand complex topics while engaging in STEM learning. Mrs. Lavelle's presentation stressed the importance of using data in the classroom and utilizing digital media resources to improve curricula. Her presentation's subject focused on the use of temperature and carbon dioxide data supplied by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association to provide evidence of global climate change. This resource allows students to track carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere over the past several hundred years. Students can analyze the data accessible to them and form conclusions on environmental patterns and issues.

"Presenting at the NSTA Conference was a wonderful opportunity for St. Edward High School to be recognized as a leader in science education," says Mrs. Lavelle. "I wanted fellow science educators to learn the importance of bringing real environmental data into the classroom. I have always utilized digital media in my classroom. It helps students visualize many ideas that might be difficult for them to comprehend. From atomic models to real time data graphing, digital media allows students to see patterns more easily in order to make conclusions. I believe that as educators, we need to use technology to enhance and guide our lessons. It helps with understanding, visualization and meets the needs of our students in a modern world."

Fellow Science teachers Mr. Jim Barnewall, Mr. Neil Corrigan, Ms. Holly McTernan and Mrs. Erin Schilf attended the conference to support Mrs. Lavelle and her presentation. "It was an honor to have one of our colleagues showcased as a leader in their field at this conference. Our department is proud of Mrs. Lavelle's accomplishments and of her contributions to the field of teaching. She pushes us to improve our lessons, increase student engagement and teach to the future by preparing our students with the tools they need to succeed in college and later in life," says Mrs. Schilf.

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