Oklahoma Educators Evolve!
What is Oklahoma Educators Evolve?
Oklahoma Educators Evolve is a collaborative project undertaken by professional informal science educators and enthusiastic volunteers in the state of Oklahoma. We are students, researchers, educators, museum professionals, and scientists at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City Community College. Based on a year of preliminary qualitative research, we have determined that elementary and middle school educators in Oklahoma are not feeling totally comfortable with or ready for the new Oklahoma Academic Standards. We have heard many stories from teachers who have not had any experience teaching science, are not interested in teaching science, are resistant to teaching science, or face other obstacles in scientific understanding and teaching.
With this project, we aim to provide you with a deeper understanding of various scientific concepts, as well as many activities that you can use to easily convey complicated science concepts to your students. Here are our goals:
- Engage teachers in the life sciences and earth sciences;
- Talk with teachers about science experiences;
- Introduce useful Nature of Science concepts to teachers of all subjects;
- Work with teachers to create OAS-aligned lesson plans, complete with all materials necessary to take the lessons back to their classrooms;
- Send teachers back to work feeling confident and excited about doing and teaching science in their classrooms.
How will we achieve these goals?
We have secured funding from the Paleontological Society to bring Oklahoma educators together for an intensive, FREE workshop in hands-on science teaching. We invite all educators to attend the workshop and become more confident as teachers of science. Even if you are not required to teach science in your classroom, there is much to be learned from using real fossils and other objects in your lesson plans.
When is the workshop?
The first set of workshops will occur on two separate dates. Workshop A will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016 , we will be collecting fossils at White Mound in Sulphur, Oklahoma. White Mound represents a shallow, warm-water environment that was rich with animal life during the Devonian time period. We will not need heavy tools (like rock hammers and chisels) to collect an abundance of awesomely preserved fossils! We'll also visit an additional site that has many ammonites to collect! For this portion of the work shop, we will meet at the University of Oklahoma, and caravan to the collecting site.
Workshop B will occur on Saturday, April 30, 2016 . This portion of the workshop will take place at OCCC’s Family and Community Education Center (FACE center). The FACE center is located at 6500 S. Land Ave, Oklahoma City OK 73159. We will meet at 9:00am and examine topics such as the nature of science, biological concepts, and paleontology in great detail. We will provide you with a foundation for these concepts, as well as provide you with a variety of ways to successfully teach these topics in your classroom. Participants will leave this workshop with their very own classroom collection of fossils and fossil casts with which to enjoy science learning with their students!
How much does it cost to participate in Oklahoma Educators Evolve?
Nothing! This workshop is absolutely free! You will keep all of the fossils you collect, the casts that you make, as well as all of the materials and supplies we provide for you! Lunch is provided on both workshop days.
Who may attend Oklahoma Educators Evolve ?
This workshop is open to all educators in any state!
How do I sign up for Oklahoma Educators Evolve?
Click here to register. We will email you some additional information about what you need to know to collect fossils at White Mound, as well as more details about Part B of the workshop.
I’ve never been fossil collecting, and it sounds complicated…can a newbie like me be successful in the field?
Absolutely! The beauty of White Mound is that it’s very user friendly! There are fossils everywhere, and as long as you have your eyes open, you’re guaranteed to find a lot of really neat fossils.
What if I can only attend one of scheduled Saturday sessions?
We understand that you are very busy. To get the most out of Oklahoma Educators Evolve, we encourage you to attend both sessions. However, if you simply cannot (despite your best efforts), it is okay to just sign up for one or the other. We recommend attending the April 30th session if you can only attend one.
Will I earn professional development hours for attending these workshops?
Yes! At the completion each workshop, we will provide you with a certificate showing how many hours of professional development you have earned.
What if I have more questions?