-Advertisement-
  About AE   About NHM   Contact Us   Terms of Use   Copyright Info   Privacy Policy   Advertising Policies   Site Map
Technology in Education    
Custom Search of AE Site
spacer spacer

 

Findings: Engaging Students with the Many Faces of Science

by Debra Norris-Rich, M.A. and Alison Davis, Ph.D

Background

A perennial challenge in science education is the difficulty of teaching material that itself continually evolves. In particular, cutting-edge topics in biology may not reflect the content of many current classroom texts. Diversity in learning styles (Felder and Solomon, 2005) and the short attention spans of many adolescents pose even more complexity in teaching secondary school science. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a part of the National Institutes of Health, produces free, up-to-date scientific resources to help science teachers overcome some of these struggles.

About Findings

Published twice a year by NIGMS, Findings is a magazine that profiles scientists doing cutting-edge basic research in a wide range of academic disciplines. With this approach, each issue aims to “put a face on science.” Other features include a “Bench to Bedside” section that contains short summaries of basic research with medical applications. Each issue also contains a crossword puzzle created with words used in the stories. Plentiful images and illustrations throughout the magazine help explain the science as well as show the human side of the researchers. Findings is available in print and online.

Focusing on scientists as people also helps to make complex topics real and more accessible to students. Using Findings as a technology resource can help keep students engaged in the discussion of science and its applications to human health.

Findings and all NIGMS educational resources (including class sets) are free, and there are no shipping charges for educators.

Using Findings in the Classroom

Story-based slide kits (PowerPoint tutorials) can enhance the use of Findings in various educational settings. Each brief tutorial (10-11 slides) contains probing questions to spur class discussion and further exploration of an individual Findings profile. Some tutorials may include slides that illustrate a research problem, followed by a flow chart that shows how a scientist solved it. Answers to Findings crossword puzzles are posted on the home page of the online version, as are links to the downloadable slide kits (free PowerPoint® viewer available here). As shown in Table 1, tutorials are available in six versions, enabling educators to effectively present material to students across a wide range of learning styles.

Table 1. Potential teaching strategies: usefulness of different versions of the Findings tutorials with various learning styles (Felder and Silverman, 1988)

 
PDF
Text only

Text mostly

Graphic
Outline
PowerPoint
Sensing
x
x
x
x
x
x
Intuitive
x
x
x
x
x
x
Visual
x
x
x
x
Verbal
x
x
x
x
x
Active
x
x
x
x
Reflective
x
x
x
x
x
x
Sequential
x
x
x
x
x
x
Global
x
x
x
x
x

Tutorial Examples

Although science educators will want to design their lesson plans to address the specific needs of their own students, the annotated examples below show one way in which various components of one of the March 2005 Findings tutorials might be used in a classroom with students who have diverse learning styles.

Findings Feature Story: "The Forces That Bind"

Tutorial: Slides 2, 3, 7, 11 (Click each image to enlarge.)

slide       slide

slide       slide

 

How to obtain Findings resources and other NIGMS science education publications

From the Findings homepage, you can

  • Order a free subscription to Findings and receive each new issue as soon as it is published
  • Order free classroom sets of the print magazine
  • Read the most recent issue of Findings and downloadable slide kits
  • Download the tutorials in PowerPoint®, pdf, and accessible formats

Findings is available in the NIGMS Classroom, where you also can see other free publications that are appropriate for advanced junior high school or high school science classrooms.

References

Felder RM and Silverman LK. Learning and Teaching Styles in Engineering Education. Engr. Education. 1988;78(7): 674–681.

Felder RM and Soloman BA. Learning Styles and Strategies. Located at http://www.ncsu.edu/felder-public/ILSdir/styles.htm

 

Posted December 2005.


Background About
Findings
Using Findings
in the Classroom
Tutorial Examples Obtain Findings
resources
Other NIGMS science
education publications
References


 
Custom Search on the AE Site

 

-Advertisement-