Sunday, August 17, 2014

Back to School: "Yes! Science is Real" Display

One of my goals for this year is to introduce my students to real scientists out in the field who are DOING the work we talk about every day.  Most teens are so disconnected from the world (other than what they see on social media) that they think science only exists between the covers of the textbook. In order to do this, I need to "hook" them with interesting topics, tweets and photos.  So I spent my summer collecting information on who to follow on Twitter, Instagram, etc.  I also spent a great deal of time designing a display that would catch a busy teenager's attention and encourage him/her to try something new. You can see some of the results of my research on my Pinterest board.

I'm sure my teens are no different from yours, they are all interested in the number of followers and number of retweets they can get. It's all about popularity with them! I'm hoping that the public interest in accounts like NatGeo and NASA will show them that science is, in fact, very interesting to the social media world!

National Geographic on Instagram
My students are visual learners.  By looking at their Instagram feed, you might mistakenly think that all they are interested in are "selfies." I've found this NOT to be the case! Their interests are wide and varied. They ARE interested in space, sharks, bugs and the natural world. They just don't know how to find those things in the social media milieu.  As teachers, we can help direct them in pursuing their interests, and at the same time, expose them to all of the wonderful things that are going on out in the world! Today's students have the opportunity to access directly so many people and agencies that previous generations had no way of connecting with, but they need help.

Here are a few shots of the bulletin board:
Finished except for the QR codes
Twitter Accounts to follow.
Instagram Accounts to follow.

Science in the news (and on the web)
I will be adding the QR codes to auto follow these accounts, produced on this site, as time allows. Our students are allowed to use their phones in school if it's part of the lesson, so there should be no trouble with them scanning a QR code in the hall. I also added information about QR readers for the various phones they might be using.
QR Apps