Leveling up Your Labs: Injecting Rigor and Engagement into Classroom Experiments

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Leader: Joshua Rutberg (physics teacher, Poly Prep)

Participants in this workshop will learn about learning theories and strategies relevant to science classes. We will take a look at some “traditional” lab activities that were redesigned to be in line with modeling and constructivist principles and practice designing activities to use in our classrooms.
1. Mini-Lecture: Review of the big theories/reforms that affect the design of science education, including the assumptions behind them and the advantages they have in terms of student learning. (10 min.)
2. Participants do simple “textbook” experiments in student mode and discuss their experiences in teacher mode. (20 min.)
3. Participants perform revised versions of those experiments and discuss the differences they experienced. (20 min.)
4. Mini-Lecture: Outline of the basic principles of constructivist and modeling-oriented class activities. (10 min.)
5. Hands-On Practice: In groups, participants redesign lab activities they have brought to the workshop, or use activities supplied by workshop leader. (75 min.)
6. Share Out: Groups share their original labs and the changes they made to them. (30 min.)