Alaska teachers are collaborating with scientists, in a new arrangement started in partnership with the Juneau STEM Coalition and the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. The purpose is to share ideas and facilitate connections.
All teachers are unfortunately familiar with the question “When will I use this?” Now thanks to collaborations between classroom teachers and scientists, teachers can better demonstrate the real world applications of their curriculum.
The Juneau Arts and Culture Center hosted the first networking event, where Alaska teachers and STEM professionals mingled. Meeting one another in a casual social event was the start of the collaboration. Approximately 150 people attended, according to Jordan Watson, one of the event organizers.
“What are some things that are going to help us do that? We need to really be using the amazing world that we have here. It’s a phenomenal natural location, we have this entire history of Native Alaskans who’ve lived here for thousands of years, they understand this place. Plus we have all these amazing state and federal local people who are hired to come here to be scientists, engineers, carpenters, electricians and photographers,” said Brenda Taylor. She is a teacher at Juneau Charter School.
It is up to each teacher and professional how collaboration would work, whether it means working along side teachers developing units, or quick classroom lessons and visits.