Experiential Science Education - Yanayacu, Ecuador 2010

Laurie Graves

Hometown: Sheridan, Wyoming

University/Department:  Elementary teacher, third grade, Big Horn Elementary, Big Horn, Wyoming and Adjunct Professor at Sheridan College.

Why did you decide to go on the Yanayacu Research Trip?  I went on this trip to gather information and experiences to enrich my social studies and science lessons.

What was the most important thing you learned?  After witnessing the extreme poverty in many of the places we visited, I realized how incredibly lucky we, educators and students, are to be living here in the United States.

How has this experience changed you?    I feel like I value what I have so much more.  I also feel that the research trip experience have really influenced my teaching. my units in the third grade and in my college classes.

What are your plans for the future?  I was recently named the Wyoming 2011 teacher of the year.  I plan to continue to share my research trip experiences with other educators and encourage them to seek out extended learning opportunities.

What advice would you give a young scientist?  Always be ready to grab every learning opportunity that comes your way and remain open to listening to your peers and instructors.  Remember to wake up everyday feeling like the day is an unopened gift and that there is an amazing present inside.

If you would like to ask Laurie question about science please send her an email at:  graves@sheridan.k12.wy.us