As part of its STEM coverage, and extensive coverage of educational issues in the U.S, PBS NewsHour is launching a multi-part web series profiling innovative STEM teachers from across the country.
The first profile in that series is has been posted as part of PBS NewHour's Science Wednesday coverage. The short video is of Jerriel Hall, a teacher in Leckie Elementary in southwest D.C., a school where 92% of students receive free or reduced lunches. To prepare his students for standardized tests and review material, he turns his classroom into a fictional space several times a year. When PBS NewHour was there, he had created a foreign planet, with all the kids being cadets who had to solve problems in order to get their spaceship back in working order to return to Earth. He himself took on the role of alien ambassador. At other times, the classroom has been an ER, a restaurant or a beach.
Science reporter Rebecca Jacobson was inspired to start the series in January after profiling two 5th grade math teachers who used dance to teach their students about patterns. The segment, "How Math Got Its Groove Back," was the 7th most popular on our site that week. Seeing the enthusiasm of the classroom and the interest of our audience inspired Rebecca to expand the project, which will be reporting on elementary, middle and high school teachers across the country.
Upcoming profiles in this monthly series include that of a New York City high school chemistry teacher who is having her students figure out how to distill biofuel, and an Elizabeth City, North Carolina teacher who uses a wetland to train his students as free-range observers.
Each week, PBS NewsHour Science Wednesdays highlights science news on its program and website. Also check out Lunch in the Lab for regular coverage of unusual science stories, discoveries and innovations.
Special funding for PBS NewsHour STEM reporting comes from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the S.D. Bechtel Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Source: PBS NewHours, www.pbs.org/newshour/