DEN SCIcon 2012 Rocks!

I’ve been sitting in the Mark Twain House Museum classroom for the day soaking up the DEN SCIcon virtual conference events. I’m sharing the room with about 35 educators from around Connecticut as well as Patti Duncan, STAR Discovery Educator and member of the DEN Team. It’s been a productive and worthwhile day with all of us hearing lots of great ideas and learning about a wealth of resources provided through Discovery Education (DE) and on the Web.

We started with Lance Rogeux’s presentation Your Attention Please: 10 Ways to Engage Your Students in Science . Lance shared some great activities to engage students in learning both at the beginning of a lesson and throughout lessons.

Next we saw Trinette Green’s presentation Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Student Learning Through Inquiry-Based Instruction. Trinette defined inquiry-based learning and shared a variety of great ideas for both directed and guided inquiry.

Next came Brad Fountain’s presentation: What’s the GIST? Bridging Science and Literacy. Brad demonstrated some terrific strategies for connecting Science and Literacy from the primary grades through high school.

We spent lunch with Kelly Pauling: Taking a Bite Out of the Common Core: A View from the Balcony. Kelly presented a no-nonsense approach to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and how Science instruction can support teachers as they implement the CCSS.

Mike Bryant started his session, Busting the Myth of Project-Based Learning, with a Common Craft video entitled Project Based Learning: Explained. You can find this simple explanation on You Tube at . He went through a number of myths about PBL and dispelled them with practical examples. He also showed a great Discovery Ed video of penguins who have turned to “a life of crime” which left the room roaring with laughter. He also connected with Terri Johnson who shared information about the International Energy Challenge. For more info, go to:

Those of us in the room in Hartford were treated to Patti Duncan’s live presentation: The Scientific Method…It’s Not Just for Chapter One Anymore. Patti’s dynamic presentation focused on the importance of teaching students the scientific method. She showed examples using the DE Science Techbook. She stressed the importance of teaching students that the scientific method is a mindset, not a chapter in the textbook. We need to teach them the skills and steps in the scientific method and then teach them how apply these skills in the larger context of their lives. As teachers, we need to be doing this every day, and not just in Science class!


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  1. Carolyn Stanley said:

    Great job of capturing the highlights of the day, Jane. Thanks.
    It really was a pleasure to be part of this face-to-face event, while having the opportunity to connect with educators all around the country through the chat. Added to that, a free tour of the Mark Twain House was frosting on the cupcake. Thanks to all the planners who made the day possible.

  2. Jack Mullens said:

    These are interesting presentation. And the “10 Ways to Engage Your Students in Science” really caught my attention.

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