Local teachers spent Saturday learning about innovative ways to teach science to students.
On Saturday July 16, educators from across northern California spent the day at Bayer’s West Sacramento research facility to participate in the site’s Making Science Make Sense® teacher workshop, an event designed to engage, educate and inspire science and STEM learning.
The five-hour workshop provided a diverse and high-energy experience for the 32 teachers from Kindergarten to high school who participated. Bayer employees led the group through two comprehensive science experiment demonstrations on the topics of soil and chromatography, a sensory/smell experiment as well as fun and simple activities with basic science principles, including Alka-Rockets and Balloon Skewers.
The workshop also included a tour of the Biologics laboratories and an engaging career panel. Three Bayer scientists, representing Formulation Science, Computational Life Science and Microbiology, shared their educational and career paths with the teachers, who are now equipped to share this real-world knowledge back in the classroom with their students.
“I was struck by how many women were involved in the event, and the science careers and pathways that several employees spoke about,” said Elk Grove teacher, Donna Lee. “I look forward to having the opportunity for my students to experience hands-on science at my school site.”
Through monthly school visits and community STEM engagements, West Sacramento’s Making Science Make Sense team is making a big impact on area students, reaching more than 4,200 students in the Sacramento area in 2015 alone. But Michael Thomas, an active Bayer employee and volunteer, believes that reaching teachers through events like this workshop is just as important.
“They’re on the front lines, so to speak, where they interact with the kids on a day-to-day basis,” said Thomas. “So we want to also get them involved and get them as excited about STEM and the future of science as we are.” By engaging teachers and students to make science “make sense,” both will be more open to STEM fields in their future educational and career endeavors.
Local NBC news station features Bayer’s MSMS Teacher Workshop in West Sacramento.