November was a busy month for the Frost Science Education team. Amidst preparing lessons and activities for Winter Camp, practicing the holiday stage show and running field trips, they have also engaged Miami’s educators, Girl Scouts and the Frost Science Upward Bound Math and Science students in the wonderful world of scientific exploration. Read on for the full rundown of our three highlights from November.
Upward Bound Math and Science Goes to College
One of the goals of the Upward Bound Math and Science program is to equip participating students with the curiosity and confidence to apply for, and enroll in, college. Many of these students will be the first in their families to pursue higher education, so Frost Science sponsors an annual career day for them to learn about STEM careers at the museum and the path staff took to get into those careers.
This year’s career day was held on the University of Miami campus. This added another layer of excitement for the students, as they were able to sit in a real college classroom and get a small taste of campus life. The students heard from Frost Science Director of Science Communication, Dr. Cassie Freund, about her background in science communication and participated in an interactive activity where they were tasked with summarizing a technical piece of scientific writing in an engaging, accessible way. The Frost Science Project Director of Upward Bound Math and Science, Giselle Garcia, also talked to them about her journey through academia and how to work in the STEM field without a STEM degree.
Career day was a hit. One of the students said, “I learned that there are so many ways to get involved with science in my future career. I thought that the only way to get into science was by being a doctor or doing research but there are actually more jobs out there that I didn’t know about.” A senior student said, “I feel a lot of pressure to choose what to major in, but career day showed me I can do so many things outside the major I choose, like work in both science and fashion.” We can’t wait to see where they end up!
Girl Scouts Exclusive Overnight Adventure: Reef Rescuers
Another November highlight was the Overnight Adventure we hosted for the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida. Junior level Girl Scouts completed steps toward earning their Animal Habitats badge, and the Cadettes worked toward the Tree badge. They received a tour of our Marine Conservation WetLab, explored mangrove habitats on The Vista, and observed animals in The Dive. The Girl Scouts also listened to short presentations and participated in question-and-answer sessions with Dr. Cassie Freund, and Museum Volunteers for the Environment Coordinator (MUVE) Lauren Reilly, giving them a chance to interact directly with two of the museum’s women in STEM. The night concluded with a Frost Planetarium show before the Girl Scouts and their chaperones went to sleep—visions of marine life dancing in their heads.
Teaching Miami’s Teachers
Teacher professional development is an important part of Frost Science’s education work, and it kept us busy last month! The Education team teacher workshop led by Dream in Green to introduce 26 K-12 educators to teaching approaches that bring citizen science into their classrooms and introduce their students to the nature around them. We collaborated with Ocean Conservancy, ISeeChange, and Earth Echo International to make this workshop a success.
The team also ran a professional development workshop for a group of Miami early childhood educators interested in teaching our hands-on, interactive and science-based ECHOS curriculum to their 3-5 year old students. With support from the PNC Foundation, Frost Science worked with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and private day care centers to identify eight pre-K classrooms who would benefit from ECHOS curriculum, materials, and professional development opportunities. This month, teachers from those eight classrooms came to the Knight Learning Center to review frameworks, classroom management, and science concepts.
Finally, we followed up with our cohort of Follow the Water teachers supported by the Weo Foundation to get their feedback on how the science lessons about clean water and water on the moon worked in their classrooms. The teachers thought the lessons were meaningful, engaging, and aligned with educational standards. Frost Science educators also gave a presentation about our educational partnership with the Weo Foundation at the Association of Science and Technology Centers virtual conference in early November.