After they attended this year’s Christian School Educators Science Academy (CESEA) in November, two teachers from San Jose Christian School in Campbell, California, were quick to put what they had learned into practice. In December, second-grade teacher Lynn Hossink and eighth-grade teacher Melissa Truong brought together their students for a lesson called “Save the City,” an introductory engineering design lesson.
“We chose the lesson because we got to experience it for ourselves at the academy,” said Hossink. “Students focus on the process of designing, building, testing, and evaluating multiple solutions to move ‘toxic industrial chemicals’ from one container to another within given criteria and constraints. This was a real-world situation that the students could respond to. We also introduced the habits of mind, which foster a growth mindset where students think critically and creatively, persevere through challenges, and are open to new ideas.”
The two classes already buddied up on other projects, so this provided yet another opportunity for them to learn from each other. “Through this lesson, students learned about the importance of communication, adaptability, openness to new ideas, and critical thinking, among other skills,” said Hossink. “My second graders learned how to think outside the box and work toward a growth mindset.”
This was the first time the two teachers attended the academy. “Attending the academy rejuvenated our passion for teaching science tenfold,” said Hossink. “It provided us with the tools and resources to teach science as it should be taught: hands-on and engaging. It also helped us to build a network of other passionate science teachers we can bounce ideas off of. We both felt so supported and encouraged by our time at the academy and wished we could have stayed longer!”
CSESA is planning for its third session in November 2018. Applications will be available this summer.