A team of Hope College faculty and students led a workshop on inquiry-based science lessons during the 51st annual conference of the Michigan Science Teachers Association (MSTA), held in Lansing, Mich., on Thursday-Saturday, March 4-6.
The Hope group presented "Ask Your Way Through Biology" on Saturday, March 6, focusing on a variety of ways to use class time teach the methodology of science as well as science content. Approximately 55 teachers, primarily from the high school level, attended the workshop, one of several presented during the three-day event. Some 3,000 educators from the elementary through college level attended the conference itself.
The six Hope presenters were: sophomore Jamin Dreyer of Holland; senior Layne Hillman of Attica; senior Karina Machado of Hudsonville; senior Amy Zwart of Grand Rapids; Dr. Donald Cronkite, professor of biology; and Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray, professor of biology.
Hope, Cronkite noted, emphasizes science methodology in its classes in keeping with its focus on research-based learning experiences outside the classroom as well. He said that the students offered a valuable perspective as veterans of the process.
"The students had done some of these exercises in classes that they took here, so they knew it from the inside," he said.
Cronkite added that the students presented the material well. "Professor Winnett-Murray and I were quite impressed with our students," he said. "They were well-prepared and articulate, and many people told us afterward how fortunate we are to have such students."