During a recent school day, 40 teachers and administrators from 12 school districts were gathered in the Frog Pond Elementary School (NJ) media center and told to spend 10 minutes having fun with a paper whirligig.

They were also given three paperclips to add to or subtract from the whirligig. After tossing the flimsy toy in the air and seeing its lackluster performance, they were asked to conclude why the toy wasn’t selling well and then come up with ways to make the toy better. By talking within their small groups, the teachers were to “define the problem, develop and test solutions and then optimize the solution.”

This was a simple experiment in engineering during the last day of the three-day Jersey Shore Consortium Science Institute at the school, in Little Egg Harbor Township.

“I want you to experience how it feels to learn this way,” said Stacey van der Veen, founder and lead consultant for “Leadership in Science” and the facilitator of the Science Institute.

The attending educators were learning how to teach the Next Generation Science Standards, a science curriculum mandated by the state for all K-12 science classes that is revolutionizing how science is taught.

Click here to read the full story on the Sandpaper.net (Feb. 21, 2018)

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