When you walk into Melissa Macha's high school science class, you will see and hear what she calls "organized chaos." Her students are spread out all across the classroom and are actively participating in labs, which sometimes can mean using iPads to augment experiments, standing on tables, going outside–you name it! They also share results and discuss what their findings mean and their implications in the real world. Melissa is a STEM Star Teacher because she has, in our minds, perfected the implementation of cooperative learning in her classroom. She makes learning science fun and engaging by providing her students with hands-on, collaborative lessons. Students in her classroom are actually interacting with science concepts and formulating their own understandings of those concepts based on their personal experiences as well as the experiences of their peers. "I wanted to be the antithesis," Melissa says when referring to her primary school education. That is exactly what she has become. Congratulations, Ms. Macha! Thank you for inspiring the minds of your students and for letting us share your pedagogical strategies with other teachers. - The STEMcoach Team Hear more of Melissa's story and receive tips on how you can incorporate cooperative learning in your classroom by watching the video.
- Memorial High School