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PRISM Fun!

As modeled by Dekalb County Science Coordinator Ken Townsel, we don't just develop and implement curricula here at PRISM ... we like to have a little fun in the process.

 

At the Challenger Learning Center at SciTrek, we participated in a hands-on simulation of a mission to study Halley's Comet. Our team members played the roles of navigations, life support, communications, and scientific officers at both Mission Control in Houston and a Space Station orbiting several miles above Earth (of course, our "Houston" was actually a classroom in an Atlanta science museum, and our "Space Station" was located conveniently next door). While the simulation provided valuable cooperation and communication skills among our team, it also exposed our participants to a fantastic example of a participatory, problem-based learning lesson.

 

To teach is to engage students in learning; thus teaching consists of getting students involved in the active construction of knowledge. A teacher requires not only knowledge of subject matter, but knowledge of how students learn and how to transform them into active learners. Good teaching, then, requires a commitment to systematic understanding of learning...The aim of teaching is not only to transmit information, but also to transform students from passive recipients of other people's knowledge into active constructors of their own and others' knowledge. The teacher cannot transform without the student's active participation, of course. Teaching is fundamentally about creating the pedagogical, social, and ethical conditions under which students agree to take charge of their own learning, individually and collectively (p. xiii, xvi).
Education for judgment: The artistry of discussion leadership
Christensen et al. 1991

 

Once, when the secrets of science were the jealously guarded property of a small priesthood, the common man had no hope of mastering their arcane complexities. Years of study in musty classrooms were prerequisite to obtaining even a dim, incoherent knowledge of science.

Today, all that has changed: a dim, incoherent knowledge of science is available to anyone.1

PRISM hopes to change all that, shedding light and clarity on the body of science and mathematics.

1 Tom Weller, Science Made Stupid: How to Discomprehend the World Around Us. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1985.

 

 

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