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Angela Adams is an eighth grade science teacher at Miller Middle School. Even from a very early age, Ms. Adams enjoyed working with and teaching children, but the draw of science and human anatomy was also very enticing. Upon completing high school, she entered college set on pursuing a career in the medical field. She enjoyed her classes and had a great time studying biological studies, but something was lacking in the experience. Angela soon realized that she could make a difference in the lives of children by helping them foster a love of science.
Reflecting her love of working with children and her enthusiasm for science, she decided to become a teacher. She cites her mother and her fourth grade teacher as major influences in inspiring her to become a teacher. Science has been a passion for Ms. Adams for as long as she can remember because there are always constant discoveries. According to Ms. Adams, “With science, there is always something new and interesting to do or learn.”
When Angela first entered the field of science education, standards were not heavily pushed or emphasized by the state. Teachers were free to select and interpret the material in a less restrictive manner, but students transferring schools were not always on the same page. With a recent change in benchmark indicators for science education, students switching schools are more likely to have been exposed to similar material. Furthermore, this shift in standards has also helped to emphasize the importance of science in the classroom. Now, science is moving towards incorporating games and virtual elements into the classroom. Adams knows that these virtual simulations allow her students to explore and experiment in their free time, while also gaining a great deal of knowledge quickly.
Overall, gaming has been a huge influence in Angela’s classroom, increasing on-task behavior throughout her students and their appetite for knowledge. Many of her students are even accessing the games from home and playing them in their free time, with some even accessing simulations that have not been introduced into the classroom. Adams couldn’t be more pleased to find that her students are taking it upon themselves to learn and interact. This motivation alone says enough to attest for the world of differences that gaming has created in her classroom.