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Tim Taylor, Roseville Middle school science teacher and devoted environmentalist, is currently working with the STEAM project with Ohio University. Mr. Taylor’s classroom is ripe with excitement and student interaction, which is the perfect environment to foster scientific inquiries.
Mr. Taylor was always interested in science throughout his own academic career. In high school he took every science class that was available to him, but always had a special place in his heart for biological sciences. Outside of school, Mr. Taylor worked at Dahl’s Arboretum and further strengthened his passion for the outdoors and the environment. Mr. Taylor’s love for science and is apparent after entering his classroom. Mr. Taylor’s students all left the classroom with smiles on their faces and a genuine zeal for science.
According to Taylor, the field of science education has changed since beginning his teaching career. “There has been a movement towards a more hands-on and inquiry-based approach to education,” says Taylor. Mr. Taylor indicated that he had a noisy and active classroom, filled with the sounds of inquiry, information sharing and group cooperation. After seeing the classroom operate for a few minutes, it is obvious that the students are quite adept at working in groups.
Although Taylor believes that a hands-on approach to education will continue to trickle into the teaching approaches of many different disciplines, he also feels that there might be some subjects that will take longer to change and incorporate into their respective curriculum. The one area that he feels strongly about change is the introduction of computer games and simulations. “Students are playing computer games, so integrating games into education seems like a natural step,” says Taylor.
The STEAM games that Taylor’s students are playing encourage problem- solving skills and allow them to interact within a virtual environment. The first gaming modules went very well, and the student’s scores increased across the board from the pretest that was given to the students prior to using the module. According to Taylor, the students seem to be interested and engaged with the activities and are eagerly awaiting the newly-created modules to be implemented into the classroom.