No task is too complex or unfamiliar for Bonnie Smith, who joined our team of STEMscopes Science teacher writers at the start of this year. While she’s been with the Texas team for just seven months, Bonnie quickly stood out for her creativity, attention to detail, and willingness to take on new challenges. We are so thankful for teachers like Bonnie, and we’d like to show our appreciation by taking a closer look at her background and accomplishments in this month’s Teacher Writer Spotlight.
With new innovations emerging daily, technology seems to be evolving at the speed of light, and increasingly jobs require that we keep up with those changes. Research already shows that 80 percent of future jobs will require technology skills and STEM literacy.
Is being good at math necessary to finding a good job? Increasingly so, this is the case. While a discrete math skill (e.g., knowing how to use the quadratic formula) is not the key to getting a job, having a solid foundation in data interpretation, analytical skills, problem-solving, and quantitative thinking is.
Sometimes things just come together at the right time. Erin Rawlinson was a new mom. She loved her job as a third-grade teacher in Katy, Texas, but it was time for her to begin a new chapter, one in which she could stay home with her newborn son and be there for all those precious firsts. But there was one glaring problem: she would need supplemental income to leave her day job. Around that time, a former colleague called to see if she’d be interested in writing curriculum for STEMscopes Math. And there it was: the gig that would allow her to be at home with her son.
STEMscopes is built around an instructional concept pioneered by Rodger Bybee in the 1980s and further refined over the subsequent decades. In this model, called the 5E model, each scope (lesson) follows a sequence of 5 phases: