NSCI 350: STEM Education Partnership

NSCI 350 is a service-learning course with a fieldwork component where pairs of PLU students teach science or mathematics lessons in local K-8 schools. Students in NSCI 350 will learn about lesson planning and curriculum design with a focus on equity and will apply those skills by developing and teaching lessons in local schools. This upper division science course is intended for undergraduate students interested in revisiting and applying their science and mathematics knowledge and understanding common misconceptions in their discipline. Students in NSCI 350 gain experience in teaching science in the K-8 setting, explore the field of teaching as a potential career, and learn science through teaching science. 

Teams of PLU students and K-8 teachers will co-develop and co-teach a series of classroom lessons during the semester. In conjunction with this fieldwork, we will meet weekly for a 3-hour seminar to explore concept development in science learning, delve into the science education research literature, learn about STEM-specific teaching strategies, discuss issues of classroom equity and access, and design assessments of science learning.

PLU students must have a 3 hour block of availability during the K-8 school day to complete weekly fieldwork in a classroom. Apply for the course using this link before registration. If you have any questions about the course, please contact the instructor.

*Note that the fieldwork component may change depending on local public health guidance.

What will the course involve?

  • a weekly seminar-style class
  • co-planning with your teacher partner
  • teaching science lessons in a K-8 classroom
  • a beginning of semester partnership kickoff meeting
  • an end of semester poster session

Course Description for NSCI 350

This course introduces students to STEM teaching and provides opportunities for gaining teaching experience in a K-8 classroom. Teams of students will partner with K-8 teachers to co-develop and co-teach classroom lessons. Topics include Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards in Mathematics, STEM-specific teaching strategies, issues of classroom equity and access, and designing assessments of STEM learning. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and completion of one of the following with a grade of C- or above: BIOL 226 or CHEM 116 or CSCI 270 or GEOS 201 or MATH 152 or PHYS 154/164. (4)