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Travis and Biology Education Students Present on Student Learning and Improving Student Engagement to Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association

Professor Holly Travis and Biology Education students Sarah Klinger and Justin Thomas presented at the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association (PSTA) annual convention in Hershey, Pa., on Friday, November 30, 2012.

Travis discussed strategies for improving student engagement in large lecture settings. The students, both completing their student teaching experiences this semester, shared the assessment of student learning done as a part of their Teacher Work Sample projects and demonstrated activities they used to teach science in secondary classrooms.

Klinger discussed the statistical analysis of student learning, her unit focusing on three eighth-grade classes taking an ecology course. She compared classes of students grouped by different ability levels to evaluate variations in student learning in college-prep, standard, and inclusion classes.

Thomas presented his eighth-grade teacher work sample, sharing statistical analysis of pre- and post-tests given for a unit about population biology and predator-prey interactions. He also shared some of the activities that served as formal and informal evaluations of student learning throughout the unit.

All three presentations were very well received.

The PSTA is an organization for in-service and pre-service K-16 teachers of science, informal science educators, and other interested individuals. It is the Pennsylvania state affiliate of the National Science Teachers Association. The conference is held annually to share ideas for teaching science at all levels, and to discuss new trends, teaching strategies, and policies that impact the teaching of science. In addition, exhibitors from many companies and organizations of interest to science teachers are present with samples and displays.

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