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STEM-It MESA Scientist Teacher Partnership

STEM-It MESA Scientist Teacher Partnership
Posted on 07/14/2020
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How do we reintroduce salmon populations back to the upper Columbia River, and how can finding a solution translate to a school STEM curriculum? Regional science teachers and scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) worked together to answer these questions as part of the STEM-It Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) Scientist-Teacher Partnership. The week-long workshop, which took place July 6-10, gives teachers the opportunity to work with scientists on a region-based problem and develop their knowledge and skills to improve STEM and climate science instruction in their schools and classrooms.

While originally planned to be held in-person, quick planning by ESD 123 Science Coordinator Lorianne Donovan-Hermann and PNNL scientists brought the workshop into teachers’ homes. Boxes of materials, including water quality tests, Squishy Circuits® electrical circuit teaching kits, and otolith bones from salmon, allowed participants to model activities they would have done in the lab, while scientists guided them and collaborated via videoconferencing.

teacher showing off circuit completed with light   teacher sorting cards out on her floor   teachers testing water

teacher sorting cards for activityWith these materials and guidance, teachers worked hands-on to evaluate the characteristics of Chinook and sockeye salmon that could impact establishing their population. They began the week by sorting cards picturing salmon in various stages of the life cycle, identifying the different points of their life important in determining how to establish a population in the wild. Characteristics such as spawning and rearing, migration, and juvenile survival were all considered.

This project was made possible through the Clime Time Grant Funds. To learn more about other climate and science workshops at ESD 123, contact Lorianne Donovan-Hermann at ldonovan@esd123.org.


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