Science Educators Present at STANY Meeting

Science Educators Present at STANY Meeting photo
Atkinson sixth-grade science teachers Matthew Yatsyla and Laura Zegers had the honor of presenting at the Science Teachers Association of New York meeting at Hofstra University. The topic of the presentation was a lesson unit on density that both teachers developed based on Science Learning Standards that the state Board of Regents adopted in December 2016.

The standards are based on students posing questions, conducting independent investigations and developing mathematical models to explain the results of their investigations. In addition, students design engineering solutions based on what they learn in their science classrooms. Yatsyla and Zegers’ presentation was a small sample of the type of standard-aligned lessons that Freeport Public Schools have already been recognized and praised for by numerous experts.

This particular presentation was based on students being given cubes of various sizes, tasked with determining if the cubes are made up of the same material. Because density is a ratio, this activity can also be integrated with the math ratio unit. Students draw graphs and from them determine if an object will sink/float in a liquid. In another hands-on activity, students observe liquids of varying densities that contain objects that float or sink. Finally, students work on questions that they can ask astronauts aboard the International Space Station on the behavior of systems under zero gravity.

These questions will then be considered for inclusion in a districtwide set of 10 questions that students across all grade levels will have the opportunity to ask of the astronauts later in the school year. Freeport is the only district in the country that will have the opportunity to make both audio and video contact with the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.