/ Modified nov 1, 2010 5:23 p.m.

Teachers' Voices with Jane Poynter and Elisabeth Roberts

Hear about two women who are closing the gap between innovations in science curriculum and the field.

Hear about two women who are closing the gap between innovations in science curriculum and the field.

Teachers Voices JPoynter ERoberts 617x347

_Jane Poynter, author of Champions for Change and Biosphere II crew member (left), and Elisabeth Roberts, a University of Arizona PhD candidate in the College of Education _

Jane Poynter's latest book,Champions for Change, takes a look at the environmental impact of global warming through the personal stories of professional athletes. Who better to tell the story of melting glaciers than the world-class adventurers who climb them year after year?

These tales of personal drama are the backdrop for the science that Poynter is actually trying to relay.

The response by students to these stories is what encouraged Poynter into developing a middle school workbook based on her book.

"Many of the students actually wanted to get involved in these athletes' endeavors ... That was really one of the triggers that said, 'Maybe this can work in the classroom, maybe this really does speak to kids where perhaps some of them wouldn't engage in others ways of thinking about science,'" Poynter said.

The celebrity draw of professional athletes for middle school students is a bit obvious but something else surprised Poynter.

"What I didn't expect was to find them equally or perhaps even more engaged in the fact that these people were more than athletes. They came alive for them as individuals and people who are active in their own environment and communities," Poynter said.

Poynter is developing this new curriculum with Elisabeth Roberts, a science educator for over 20 years and currently a University of Arizona PhD student in the College of Education. Her research focuses on the development of innovative science curriculum.

"I very much look forward to sitting down with students and watching them leaf through the book and start to ask questions because as a researcher that's my first indication that they're hooked, that they're starting to ask questions, they're starting to get intrigued," Roberts said.

LISTEN

To hear more stories, visit the Teachers' Voices archive.

(Funding for the production of Teachers' Voices is provided by Wells Fargo and the University of Arizona College of Education. The series is produced by Matt Felix for Arizona Spotlight.)

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona