Making Science Make Sense - The Teachers Taking Charge in NC
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Making Science Make Sense (MSMS) has entered its 22nd year of making a positive STEM education impact on students across the United States. Since the program’s nascent year in 1995, Bayer’s MSMS has brought educational experiments to the classrooms that are kid-friendly and designed to intrigue and push curiosity in the field of STEM education. This award-winning program would not be possible without the hundreds of Bayer employees who volunteer their time to bring hands-on science into the classroom in Bayer site communities nationwide. To expand that reach, Bayer partners with incredible teachers who volunteer their time and efforts to attend MSMS Teacher Workshops, where they add to their repertoire of hands-on experiments, learn more about various science career paths, and share teacher-to-teacher advice to bring back to their classrooms.
The Bayer Crop Science RTP site hosted a MSMS Teacher Workshop on July 26 with more than 35 teachers in attendance from across North Carolina. As MSMS evolves as a program, it is finding that teachers are more responsive than ever to educational opportunities outside the classroom and more determined than ever to get their students off on the right foot, at an early age. Cora Fedornock, a volunteer at MSMS, smiles thinking back on the workshop, “My volunteer experience with Making Science Make Sense was very stimulating. I was able to witness the dedication teachers have toward further developing their student’s exposure to science and I am proud that Bayer plays an integral part of that educational development worldwide. These are the moments that help to shape future scientists."
To highlight the commitments of teachers across the state, we pulled four teachers aside and asked their personal opinions of Making Science Make sense and why they chose to come to this workshop.
Cheryl Stevens - 5th grade teacher at Franciscan School in Raleigh
“I came to Making Science Make Sense today because I wanted to increase my knowledge and learn more hands-on experiences I can share with my kids. I am hoping these experiments will bring enthusiasm, excitement and fun to the class.”
Mistie Pullen- 3rd grade teacher at Riverwood Elementary in Johnston County
“I wanted to learn more interactive activities I could use in the classroom but I also wanted to see what possibilities there were in big companies and how I can best prepare my kids for those opportunities. I am always looking for new ways to raise my teaching standards.”
Wayne Shore - Science Specialist at Fuller Elementary (grades K-5) in Wake County
“I first heard about Making Science Make Sense in a newsletter and I said ‘Hey! I better check that out.’ You can never have enough practical, hands-on experiments. I want to get new material, stuff I know is going to get kids engaged in building, modeling – something besides worksheets.”
Linnea Gibson - Director of Innovation at Konn Magnet Elementary School of Entrepreneurial Design in Raleigh
“I came to better support my K-5 teachers in their daily science instructions. My goal is to be able to lead better professional development and increase student exposure to science content.”
Content for the Classroom
Several teachers expressed the desire for new materials to keep kids entertained in the classroom while promoting a strong scientific knowledge base. While MSMS experiments are generally geared towards elementary school students, even middle school and high school teachers came out to pull on fresh ideas. Russel Jones, an environmental safety specialist at Bayer stated, “It is shocking to see how many teachers are already discussing career paths at the elementary school level. It really shows that they care.”
While it was sad to see the sun set on such a fun-filled and interactive day, MSMS already has its wheels turning for next year’s workshop. With post-event surveys in, more than 93 percent of the teachers who attended said they would recommend the workshop to their colleagues. If you would like to learn more about MSMS please visit www.makingsciencemakesense.com for experiment ideas and instructions, information about the community impact, or other related programs.