On a quest to forge more meaningful science learning experiences for Hockinson students, several of the district's middle and high school science teachers met with their peers from around the state on June 3rd to collaborate and build through the lens of LASER. Washington State LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform) is a state science education program for teachers and other educators and is known in Southwest Washington as LASER_SW, which is coordinated by ESD 112. It offers teachers curriculum and instructional materials support; administrative and community support; and more, all in an effort to ensure high-quality science education for all Washington students. The goal of this working alliance is to help prepare students for civic engagement, careers, post-secondary education, and lifelong learning, with a focus on science education.
During the June 3rd meeting, respected educational researcher and professor Michael Fullen highlighted the importance of teacher collaboration in creating science coherence and understanding for students. Participants were tasked with developing a 100-day plan for transforming science education through setting achievable targets using school data, research, and school improvement plans, as well as the district STEM education plan.
As a result, many practices will be incorporated within the first 100 days of the 2021-22 school year in HMS and HHS science, including project-based learning, asset-based instruction, flipped internships and connection, and relevance to students’ lives. Additionally, HHS and HMS science teachers will focus on culturally relevant teaching practices, such as authentic problem solving, teamwork, connecting current and prior learning, and hands-on experiences. Teachers will prioritize highlighting all students' unique capabilities and will guide them in continued self-improvement, as well as student-driven problem solving and storytelling.