Science Education A Major Topic at Hancock Symposium

Science education will be a major topic at the annual Hancock Symposium this month on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, MO. The two days of lectures and presentations are all free and open to the public.

 This year’s Hancock Symposium – the theme of which is “Audacious Ingenuity: Pushing the Boundaries of Science,”–will be held Wednesday and Thursday, September 14-15, and will focus on the role science plays in shaping our world.

Dr. Norman Lederman, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Mathematics and Science Education at Illinois Institute of Technology, whose lecture is titled “The Ends May Justify the Means, but the Means Should Never Become the Ends,” will talk at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 14, in Champ Auditorium.

In his presentation, Dr. Lederman will speak to the equal importance of scientific knowledge, scientific investigation and practices and understanding scientific inquiry and the nature of science if scientific theory is to be achieved in society.

Professor Lederman has taught a full range of graduate courses in secondary science education and is internationally known for his research on the development of students’ and teachers’ conception of the nature of science and scientific inquiry.

He has served as President of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching and the Association for the Education of Teachers in Science.

Dr. Bina Vanmali, Director of the Arizona Science Education Collaborative at Arizona State University, will also speak at the Symposium on “Biology and Science Education for Secondary Students Today.”

This will be a breakout session for those in attendance on Thursday, September 15, at 10:30 a.m. in Room 207 of the Coulter Science Center, where  Dr. Vanmali will discuss increasing scientific literacy within the classroom.

A third speaker on the topic of science education is Michael Szydlowski, who is the current President for the Science Teachers of Missouri and K-12 Science Coordinator for the Columbia Public Schools.

He will be speaking on “Making Science Education Popular with Youth” in a breakout session at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 15, in Room 138 of the Coulter Science Center where he’ll discuss what is changing in science education, how to keep students engaged in science education and why all students should be fluent in science understanding.

Presented annually by the Churchill Institute of Global Engagement on campus, the Hancock Symposium is one of Westminster College’s signature academic experiences, bringing in national and international leaders and experts to educate, inspire and challenge students on a subject of global significance.

A complete agenda for the Hancock Symposium can be found at http://symposium.westminster-mo.edu/. A number of the lectures will be live streamed at http://www.westminster-mo.edu/go/live.

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