Missouri Science Teaching and Education Partnership (MO-STEP)
University of Missouri-St. Louis
Here are some comments from graduate fellows Norris, Duffie, Sweeney, and Siers: (1) I found it fascinating to watch students struggle to define specific research questions and read the associated predictions. It was a humbling experience admitting to them that the questions may get more complex as they get older, but the struggle remains. (2) The best part about MO-STEP is the opportunity to watch urban high school students get excited about colorful guppies in a tank or new birds at our feeder. My challenge is to help them transform that excitement into testable questions that eventually turn into science experiments. What a great way to learn (and teach) the scientific method! (3) By getting involved in high school science education, I hope to use my knowledge and enthusiasm to foster a greater appreciation and understanding of the scientific process, scientific ideas, and theories. This greater interest and understanding may translate into more individuals considering science careers or at least will contribute to a more scientifically literate populace. This has far-reaching implications for the students, for the scientific community, and for society. (4) While it is not likely that many of the students I have worked with will pursue careers in science, I hope to instill a fascination with the mysteries that science can solve, a feeling of connectedness to the natural world, and an appreciation for the benefits that a science-minded approach to life can provide.