Episode #284: Becky Schnekser

Dana GoodierOut of the Trenches Podcast

Becky first joined the teaching world in 2006 as a fifth grade inclusion classroom teacher. She has always believed that authentic experiences yield the best and most effective learning opportunities. After all, we learned how to walk and talk by just…trying. We failed often but eventually, we learned these valuable skills and haven’t forgotten them along the way. We had natural relevance, we were surrounded by people who believed in us, didn’t allow us to give up, and celebrating each success along the way no matter how small! What if this mindset was the foundation for how we approach learning everyday?

She’s passionate about experiential learning, especially in the style of expeditions, hence why she teaches the way she teaches, wrote the book she wrote, and completes field expeditions annually.

Trenches story: 2017, had been teaching 11 yrs, 6 yrs in 5th grade inclusion. Wrote sci curriculum. All things set her up to be an instructional coach. Interviewed for it but wasn’t offered the role. At the pit of dissapointment, she was motivated to look at teaching differently. Something else was out there she hadn’t found. Got into Nat Geo certification program. This allow her to transform. Looked into field science. Got a grant to go to Caribbean Amazon then Galapagos.

Talk about how that led to you writing your book: Expedition Science: Empowering learners through exploration book for teachers about science education, making it experiential- came out in ‘21. Science expedition is still going. Came out of a blog. She connected w/ Adam Welcome. He encouraged her to do this. Mentored ppl online. Book is a work of heart. It’s about using exploration as a tool. Understanding how rocks are made. Examples revolve around science. Can use it in art, ss, math.

PD/Student talks: Could talk about it. Connects with teachers about creating lessons. “It’s an experience not a lesson” she says. Craft experiences for learners. How to shift your thinking to experience-based. Outdoor ed is also something she’s talked about recently. Tells how you can plan for outdoor learning. You don’t need man-made structures. W/ st’s she talks about following passions: “Relentlessly pursuing your passions”, what does it mean to be a woman in the world? Esp. being a woman in a STEM career.

Working w/ TB Speaker’s network: TB will do the logistics. She can be reached out to via her socials.

Other areas you want to highlight? Currently manages education dept at a local museum. Left last school in Dec. ‘22 to start Ph.d program. Coaches educators, building curriculum @ maritime discovery center. Maritime curriculum during the summer. Informal education is very similar to cr education. Are working on making long-term partnerships with schools. Helps create experiences for diff. grade levels. At museum, educators can do that. Want them to come in multiple x’s a year. 2nd graders go to outdoor school 4 days a year. Wants to transform to different grade levels. Missing in the classroom everywhere. Often, t’s don’t prepare kids ahead of a field trip to make it meaningful? Wants to bridge the communication between classroom teachers & museum educators.

Is doing Ph.D. work in environmental science & sustainability education, wants to be a professor for teachers who are preparing to go into the CR. Wants to either teach teacher candidates or in schools. 5+ years. Ideally in a science methods course. Continue momentum of excitement. Wants to go back to her alma matter.

Going to Antarctica in Nov.- will be there for the month, all women expedition. Did a Homeward Bound course through Australia. STEMM (w/ medicine). Has to craft what she wants to study. Will be based on a research vessel. Stopping in Port Lockroy. Women who are accepted go through year-long STEMM prep program. Helps build up women. When you complete it & fulfill requirements (check recording). Women get to strategize together. Build things together. All involves balance w/ women in leadership roles. Will see lots of wildlife like leopard seals. Will interact w/ scientists who are stationed there. Wants to get young kids interested to “hook” them at elementary school age. She wasn’t good at math them so got discouraged. Still liked science. Grew up w/ many negative thoughts. Needed opportunities to pursue science & math. Pursued as an adult. 60 women in the group for 22 days on ship. Ideally every day they’ll be stopping at stations. She’ll be blogging

Out of everything: always remember to relentlessly follow your passion, no matter what! Click To Tweet

Where can ppl find you? expeditionschneckser.com @schnekser IG in reels, stories, etc. Will hop on podcasts when come back from Antarctica. (Elijah Carbahal’s or Dave Schmittou’s)

View this video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Duvza_1Ldl8


Load More