The Technology Enhanced Activity Modules for Science (TEAMS) Project is a National Science Foundation-supported initiative at Kennesaw State University. The TEAMS Project is designed to increase student learning in science. TEAMS contains some excellent, user-friendly tutorials for elementary teachers looking to implement inquiry-based science in their classrooms. Current modules include modules on water, sound, pollution, and global warming.
Each of the activity modules include a module summary, video clips that demonstrate the teaching of the activity, and teacher resources, teacher notes, journals at lower and upper levels, and extension activities.
The main goal of the TEAMS Project is to increase student learning in science. Materials for both teachers and elementary learners are presented.
Target Student Population:
This project creates opportunities for pre-service and in-service teachers to implement inquiry-based science activities for lower level and upper level students. K-5 students can also benefit from the site.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Pre-service and in-service teachers to have basic science knowledge.
Type of Material:
Excellent tool for pre-service science methods classes. Also strong for current elementary teachers who want to integrate inquiry-based science into their curriculum.
Project content is designed to be easily utilized with the standard component of browser plugins found on most computers. Materials in the Instructor Resources section require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Editable student handouts are in Microsoft Word format. Digital video files are in Windows Media Format and can be viewed with the free Windows Media Player. One was created in Quicktime. The project web site is optimally viewed with Internet Explorer. Due to the size of some of the digital video files, a high-speed Internet connection is strongly suggested.
Evaluation and Observation
Modules are of high quality both in terms of content, explanation and usability. Modules were created through a NSF grant, and content is aligned with NSTA standards. Content is also related to current world applications such as global warming and waste management. All modules are informative and engaging for K-5 students.
One module, The Amazing Molecule, is significantly briefer and less developed than the other modules. Not all modules have clearly stated objectives.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This site is excellent for providing examples and models of effective inquiry-based science. The videos provide accurate modeling of how to present the experiments to actual students. A resource list, along with procurement sources, is provided for each module, and presenter also provides coaching and examples of questioning techniques.
This project creates opportunities for pre-service and in-service teachers to implement inquiry-based science through activities that are designed to rekindle curiosity and build understanding. This website could be implemented in the science education methods classes (elementary, middle grades, and high school levels) in higher education. The modules are connected to the National Science Standards and the Georgia Performance Standards. Pre-service and in-service teachers could use the modules presented on the website or they could use the modules to develop science modules for their own students.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The modules are well designed. The website layout makes it easy to access each of the steps in the teaching process and the many resources. The site is user-friendly and requires minimum computer skills.
As noted by the authors, the viewing of the videos may be an issue if a high speed connection is not available. The Windows Media modules do not perform well on Mac computers and the Quicktime module is very slow on a PC.
Other Issues and Comments:
This site is a good place to start for any elementary teacher who wants help and reassurance for implementing inquiry-based science in the curriculum.