Posts Tagged ‘Family Science Workshops by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski’


Families Explore Science Concepts Through Children’s Literature During Family Science Workshop

on June 30, 2010 in Family Science Workshops by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Comments Off on Families Explore Science Concepts Through Children’s Literature During Family Science Workshop

On June 25th, 2010 parents and children had the opportunity to explore science concepts through popular children’s literature. Parents of early childhood-age children and their children eagerly took part in hands-on explorations to investigate nature of science, earth, physical and life science concepts. Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski a nationally recognized science education consultant conducted the family science parenting workshop. Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski  introduced parents and children to popular children’s literature books that have science content directly related to regional and national science, math, literacy, history, and art standards. Parents and children conducted hands-on science explorations to investigate the behavior of soap bubbles, observing the behavior of a unique substance called Oobleckwhich behaves like a combination of a solid and a liquid, what objects sink or float, observing how rocks can be broken down into beach sand, observing and touching live garden snails, pill bugs, and earthworms, observing and sorting leaves and seeds. At the end of the two hour session families left with numerous models they had made throughout the session, and art work depicting their observations of the live creatures they observed as well as leaf rubbings they had made. Most important, parents left the session with many new explorations to undertake at home with their children to investigate science and mathematic concepts. Approximately 40+ popular children’s authors were introduced during the family science workshop teaching science concepts through early childhood literature some of the most recognizable children’s authors included: Eric Carle, Gail Gibbons, John Himmelman, Leo Lionni, Dr. Seuss, Eve Bunting, Ellen Prager, Steve Jenkins and Robin Page, Wendy Pfeffer, Tish Rabe, Bonnie Worth, Bill Martin, Franklyn Branley, Anthony Fredericks, Ruth Heller, and many more. For a detailed view of most of the children’s literature used during the family science workshop please visit this page,  all the children’s literature used during the family science workshop can be ordered from Amazon.com via this site. For additional reading on the positive impacts of parental involvement in science education please view the National Science Education Teacher’s Association position statement on parent involvement in science education see this page.

Family Science

Sorting Shells during the family science workshop.

Family Science

Families used sand and water wheels during the family science workshop. Families used sand and water wheels during the family science workshop.

Family Science Workshop

Family Science

Families sorted seeds during the family science workshop.Families connected science concepts and children's literature together.

Family Science

Child observes and sorts leaves during the family science workshop.

Family Science

Families observed and sorted shells during the family science workshop.

Family Science Workshop

Child shows drawing completed during family science workshop.

Family Science Night Activities

Families made leaf rubbings.

Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Science Education Consultant

Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski demonstrates how to make a leaf rubbing during the Family Science Workshop.

Family Science Night Activities

Families used microscopes to observe leaves and bird feathers.

Family Science Activities

Families used microscopes during family science workshop.

Family Science Activities

Families explored what objects sink or float during the family science workshop.

Family Science Activities

Families explored floating and sinking.

Family Science

Families explore states of matter with Oobleck.

Family Science

Family science participants blows bubble during family science workshop.

Family Science

Families explored the states of matter during the family science workshop.

Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski conducts family science parenting workshop.

Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski demonstrates how to use the bubble window during the family science workshop.

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Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski family science

Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski helps family science participants mix the Oobleck.

Family Science activities

Family Science Workshop

Family Science workshop

Family Science workshopFamily Science workshop 

Expanding Your Horizons Conference at UCF, February 20th, 2010

on February 23, 2010 in Teacher Training Workshops Comments Off on Expanding Your Horizons Conference at UCF, February 20th, 2010

     On February 20th UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science was host to the Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Conference. EYH  is a national organization whose goal is to motivate young women in science and mathematics by exposing them to hands-on-minds-on workshops for a day. The unique aspect of this conference is that the parents of the junior high girls can remain on the campus and participate in workshops designed for parents. I provided an interactive keynote presentation workshop for 75 parents entitled “Exploring Patterns, Shapes, and Structures from Nature to Engineering.”  The interactive keynote presentation workshop integrated science, technology, engineering, and math principles. Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts. Currently, STEM education is a major focus of reform in math and science education, and I felt that the parent workshop should focus on STEM concepts as well. To explore STEM concepts parents were given a pre-packaged bag that contained a wide-assortment of objects from nature as well as man-made items whose design is based on models borrowed from nature. Parents were asked to observe, compare, and analyze structure and function of the objects using eye-loupes. Parents worked in groups of two which allowed them to develop theories as to why certain objects had a particular structure etc., as well as correlating the natural object to a modern-day invention. Objects and concepts the group explored included: golf balls, bird feather, model airplane wing, aerodynamics, seed structure and dispersal, sea shells, hexagonal nuts and bolts, soap film, architectural design, and geometrical structures. As always, I was very impressed with the group of parents that participated in the parent Expanding Your Horizons session. They were totally immersed in the learning process via hands-on-minds-on explorations, busily jotting down their observations, theorizing, building models, and exchanging ideas within one another. Additionally, parents heard presentations from Megan Clementi, Miss Florida USA 2010 who earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from UCF, and Janet McCulloh, Mrs. Florida 2009 who earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from UCF and a MS in Electrical Engineering from GA Tech. For more information about the EYH Conference held at UCF check this link out.

Expanding Your Horizon Conference Parent Session

Expanding Your Horizons Conference, Parent Session

Expanding Your Horizons Conference, Parent Session

Parent session Expanding Your Horizons Conference.

Dr. Diana Wehrell provides an interactive keynote presentation for the parent session during the Expanding Your Horizons Conference.

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