Abstract # 179:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation

Helping Students Learn to Question

C. N. Ross, A. Zabawa and D. L. Leslie-Pelecky
University of Nebraska, Project Fulcrum, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA
     Scientific outreach to local school children can take many forms. Scientists can provide a one-time demonstration to illustrate a topic in the curriculum for a single class, engage in demonstration days that reach a large number of students in a brief time, or establish a continuing relationship with a teacher and his or her students. Project Fulcrum is a GK-12 outreach program that teams a science, math or engineering graduate student with a local middle-school teacher for one school year. This program trains graduate student scientists to encourage student questioning and reasoning processes. Scientists develop activities with their lead teacher that encourage student critical thinking, using the scientific method and questioning skills. Scientists help teach science literacy, positive attitude toward science and foster critical thinking skills by encouraging exploration of concepts and questioning. We will present examples of activities developed by scientists and their teachers to encourage these critical skills. Project Fulcrum is supported by the National Science Foundation.