Andrea LaRosa teaches 8th-grade science at Westside Middle School Academy, in Danbury, Connecticut. To bring meaning and relevance to her science lessons, she has her students collaborate with one another to solve real-world science and engineering problems. She is a firm believer in “show one, do one, teach one.”
As an undergrad at Boston University, Andrea gained valuable research experience in field-based ecology in the Ecuadorian rainforest, histology at the Marine Biological Laboratory, and toxicology of herring in the Pacific Northwest. These experiences motivated her to provide first-hand research experiences for her students by creating a living classroom full of a variety of different organisms. Andrea’s students use their knowledge of ecology, chemistry, and environmental science to maintain living conditions and care for 200 trout fingerlings, a vertical hydroponic garden sustained by goldfish, budding succulent and vegetable gardens, and the newest addition, a breeding pair of axolotls and their 300 larvae.
During her free time, Andrea and her husband cultivate their backyard homestead and gardens by working alongside their four young children. Together they care for egg-and-meat chickens, turkeys, and honey bees. For Andrea, science is everywhere, be it in her backyard or her classroom.
The teachers of today are training the scientists of the future with lessons from SciFri’s Educator Collaborative.
In this hands-on classroom activity, students learn how computers actually store and transmit data.