Episode #230: Holly Stuart

Dana GoodierOut of the Trenches Podcast

Holly Stuart is the Education Specialist for Foldscope Instruments and former 8th grade science and design teacher in South Carolina. Her passions include finding new and innovative ways to provide access to scientific tools to students everywhere because she knows that when students have access to the wonders of science, they can discover new scientific concepts through inquiry, and learn science by doing science.

In addition to her out-of-the-box approach to teaching science, Holly successfully implemented The Grid Method into her teaching practice and is currently a Teach Better Team Mentor Ambassador.

Holly is married to her high school sweetheart and is a mother to three children. When not working, she enjoys traveling and being outside with her family. Some of their favorite outdoor activities include hiking, running, biking, and gardening. (Holly often brings her telescope, binoculars, and microscopes with her on hikes!) Her indoor hobbies include reading, writing, and learning more about sketch noting and drawing.

Trenches story: the year she discovered the Grid Method. Led her to TB team. One section where couldn’t figure out how to reach students. Even lang. barriers. Tried to find support for everyone but didn’t reach anyone. Was ready to walk away from the CR & education all together. Had a colleague who saw the trench she was in. Introduced her to TB team, gave her the book Teach Better by Chad Ostrowski. He talked about the Grid Method. Felt 1st time something was given to her she could work w/. It was a strategy she could use to differentiate.

Talk about using the Grid Method to teach science (she taught MS): Based on Webb’s Depth of Knowledge. Create tasks all related to same content. Some students need basic recall. Level 2- lets them use Level 3: go deeper. St’s can help their peers as well.

Did informal science ed outdoors with field trips:  This was before she got into formal education. She taught science in outdoors. Water quality analysis at river. Looked at critters under rocks. Weathering, erosion, deposition. Helped kids see scientific method up close & personal.

Talk about your current role as Education Specialist for Foldscope Instruments (newly started in 2017):  Transitioned this Junecompany that has a mission to get tools into the hands of kids. It’s a microscope (she holds it up on video). Scientific tool scientists use out in the field. Made out of paper. Cheaper price point so great to get into hands of kids.  ($1.75 each), so kids can take them home. Started by prof @ Stanford. Charged research group w/ this

objective. Develop something that was easy to use. Didn’t want the barrier to access. All the parts of a microscope is on it. Can get 140x magnification.  Can use glass or paper slides. Can hook your phone up to it for artificial light. Lets you see it on phone screen. She teaches t’s to use it in the CR. She consults w/ districts via zoom. Zoom training. She is only traveling 2x’s/year.  She’s very much an advocate for getting tools into kid’s hands.

What has your experience as TB Ambassador been like?  12 hr live, what all have you done? Got connected with team thru trenches moment. Didn’t apply first round. She was in the 2nd group. She joined in on Daily Drop in, Brain Breaks, one of 12 hour lives. It helps YOU to become a better teacher. We have gifts we bring to our cr. Your gift may be something someone else needs. They’ve helped her amplify her voice. She also applied for lead/mentor program. Rae, Andrea, encouraged her to apply for mentor.

Wants to highlight blogging: Science better TB blog series-reflection of best practices. Has had it for over 1 year. Some things she did in CR, others are big picture. F. ex. interactive science notebooks. Put together list of things that worked for her.

2 blogs for Foldscope: 1) Foldscope in the classroom. (comes out 1x/month) Wants to expand ppl’s perception about using a microscope. 2) Foldscope Explores-(comes out 2x/month)-covers a variety of topics.  She wants to highlight an article, has one that came out 11/23 for Vivi Nachi day (#’s sequence).  Talks about patterns in the outdoors. On www.foldscope.com doesn’t require a subscription. Wants to cover next gen science standards. Wants to expand ppl’s understanding of it.

Out of everything? Don’t just learn about science. Get out there and DO science. Find more ways to be doing rather than showing. Click To Tweet

Where can ppl find you online? holly@foldscope.com Twitter @hollyastuart YouTube: https://youtu.be/_vUsHrb5qwY


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