Upper School science teachers Daniel Goduti and Carol O'Brien presented at the 7th annual National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) STEM Forum & Expo in Philadelphia in July. Goduti and O'Brien shared best practices from their classrooms at Haverford with high school science teachers, administrators, and education researchers from around the country.
Goduti presented on Global Impacts of Infectious Disease, an elective biology course that he developed at Haverford. VI Formers research one of approximately 20 Neglected Tropical Diseases and develop a digital campaign aimed toward doctors, clinicians, and others in the field to generate awareness and eventually reduce or even eradicate the diseases.
"The course's curriculum focuses on the intersections of molecular and cellular biology, microbiology, immunology, physiology, ecology, epidemiology, and principles of public health," Goduti said. "I wanted to share this work because I thought other teachers might want to do similar things, but also to get feedback and ideas from colleagues."
O'Brien's presentation, "Try Everything Access to All: Projects in Physics Classes that are Conceptual, Problem-Based, and Advanced," highlighted how to make physics more accessible. She shared how she focuses her introductory class at Haverford on problem-based units and concepts that apply to real-life circumstances such as driving, sports, amusement park rides, and movie sound effects.
Some of the group projects in her class involve data collection and analysis with sensors, video analysis, voiceovers, building optical and musical instruments, and creating photojournals and digital portfolios, which "help students develop transferable communication and team-building skills as well as improve skills that cut across the science curriculum," she said.
"These conferences let me figure out if the things we think are best for our boys, or best for learning in general, are on track with what other strong schools are doing," she said. "Twenty first century classrooms are constantly changing with the needs of the learners, and the uncertain (in a good way) future that they must be prepared to tackle. I want to share ideas, hear what others think are best practices, and continue to evolve in my own classroom."