Want to connect your classroom to teachers like Greg in Spring 2017? Click here to learn more.
Which iEARN project are you doing? The Earth Stewardship Project
Where do you teach? Streamwood High School in Illinois, USA
What subject/age do you teach? High school chemistry, physics and physical science
Tell us your story.
On the Wednesday before Christmas vacation students in my second hour physical science class went online, through Adobe Connect, with teachers and students from the countries of Morocco and Tunisia in the Middle East. This experience brought home the relevance of collaboration in science and it illuminates the benefits of developing international connections in the pursuit of greater knowledge and understanding.
Rachel Manley, our facilitator with the iEARN Network helped to smooth our transition into video conferencing as we began collaborative discussions with peers from the Middle East regarding similar experimental results achieved when testing soils.
First experience with online video conferencing seemed magical as Streamwood High School was projected world-wide and our new friends from the Middle East expressed genuine excitement and interest. Teachers were able to share their experiences in doing similar science projects and it aroused feelings of almost giddiness having the opportunity to talk to peers that have been email correspondents before this event!
Students from Streamwood High School had the opportunity to share experiences on the project along with providing some insight into the benefits of doing this scientific endevour. We finished this exchange of ideas by wishing everyone involved a Merry Christmas and our Muslim friends were elated and wished us in kind. Memorable. A moving experience between students at Streamwood and people of Islamic culture. Powerful!
Fundamentally, the Earth Stewardship Project, as part of the iEARN Bridge Program, provides educators with a truly unique opportunity to involve students in investigative and problem solving challenges, while helping them develop their cognitive abilities to effectively communicate and collaborate with peers from across the world. This process involves students conducting inquiry into unknown areas of science and it provides the challenge to critically assess scientific findings while determining the validity of results.