Carter In The Classroom

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Teachers Become Students in Effort to Improve Learning

Educators from around the country come to Texas to learn new ways to teach science skills

In chemistry class at Sachse High, students were generating carbon dioxide and seeing how it reacts to temperature.

However, the students in this classroom are actually teachers. This class took place in the weeks leading up to the start of school.

Educators from around the country come to Texas to learn new ways to teach science skills and learn from one another.

"When we go through these types of experiments and we can see where the flaws are, and where the kids are going to get tripped up, it's easier to go and facilitate for them," said Katherine Borne, who teaches AP Environmental Science at Sachse High.

She tackled an experiment idea after seeing how it would be the best way to motivate her students.

"We do a lot of lab already, but the more involved I get them the most it's going to stick with them," Borne said.

It's called "Summmer Institutes." The National Math and Science Initiative puts it on each year to inspire teachers to not just try new things, but understand them.

"I could provide you a tool box of all these great things, but if you don't open it and experience it you're not going to take the time to do that during the year when you have a million other things to do," said Toni Schneider of the National Math & Science Institute.

Each group of "students" were given the same assignment, but had to come up with their own unique way to generate their data. It helps expose them to different things that come up in the classroom and be prepared to handle it.

As much as they got out of the experiments, many of these teachers are the science specialists at their schools, and they don't have another person just like them on campus. This was a chance to socialize, share ideas and information from someone who speaks their language.

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