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BHSU Science Specialist Teachers Present at SD Joint Math and Science Conference

Greg Diersen, who is enrolled in the Science Specialist Endorsement program at Black Hills State University, conducts a session at the annual joint conference of the S.D. Science Teachers Association and S.D. Council of Teachers of Mathematics held in Huron.

A number of teachers enrolled in the Science Specialist Endorsement program at Black Hills State University were among science and math teachers from across the state that met recently at the annual joint conference of the S.D. Science Teachers Association and S.D. Council of Teachers of Mathematics held in Huron.

Several teachers enrolled in the capstone class taught by Dr. Janet Briggs were among the presenters at the conference. Briggs is a science education specialist for the Center for the Advancement of Mathematics and Science Education (CAMSE) and an instructor of education at BHSU.

“I was so impressed with the teachers’ enthusiasm and their level of excitement when presenting ideas they use with students in their classroom. They emerged as leaders in science education at the conference,” noted Briggs.

The Science Specialist Endorsement is a 20-hour graduate level program available at BHSU to those either pursing or having completed a master’s degree. Approximately 30 teachers from across the state of South Dakota are currently enrolled in the program; some of them are also enrolled in the Masters of Science in Curriculum and Instruction program at BHSU.

Teacher presenters included:
• Roberta Traxinger, a high school teacher at the Douglas School District in Box Elder, who co-facilitated a session on Modeling Physics for Inquiry.
• Greg Diersen, a high school teacher at Great Plains Lutheran in Watertown conducted two sessions, the first was entitled Prairie Plants – Pollen, the second was Prairie Plants – Identify and Preserve.
• David Ireland, the winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in K-6 Science for South Dakota, and Jennifer Fowler, a fellow teacher at South Middle School in Rapid City, collaborated on a session entitled Using Inquiry to Set the Stage for Instruction.
• Nicole Keegan, a middle school teacher in Rapid City, and Brenda Murphy, instructor at the Rapid City Academy co-facilitated Matters of the Heart. Keegan also collaborated with Jannette Moehlman, and Katie Anderson, of Dakota Middle School in Rapid City on the session Moving Lab Notebooks to the Next Level, as well as presenting on Moving to Inquiry. Katie Anderson and Jannette Moehlman also presented The Place of Literacy within Scientific Inquiry.

For further information about the Science Specialist Endorsement program, please contact Briggs at Janet.Briggs@bhsu.edu or at 605-642-6875.

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