Ryan Becker teaches science at Woodstock Union Middle School in Woodstock, Vermont. A passionate middle level educator for the last 15 years, Ryan constantly looks for ways to nurture curiosity, creativity and problem solving in his classroom. It’s not unusual to find his students engineering solar collectors, creating science videos, writing science haikus, and exploring who scientists are, as well as how, where and why they do what they do!
A lifelong Vermonter, Ryan’s earliest encounters with science included a childhood quest to build epic jumps for his bike and snowboard and countless hours observing the natural world while hunting and camping. These interests led to degrees in exercise science from Ithaca College, biology from Johnson State College and–after stints as a personal trainer, coach and camp director–a master’s degree from the University of Vermont (UVM).
Interest in action research and teacher leadership led Ryan to pursue a doctorate at UVM. Realizing the power of social media for professional development and as a pedagogical tool in his own classroom, Ryan focused his dissertation research on the use of Twitter for learning and communicating science. He hopes his own insatiable desire to follow real science around the world inspires his students.
Ryan resides in Woodstock, Vermont and enjoys trail running, snowboarding, cross country skiing and spending time with his wife and son.
What happens when students “draw a scientist” and then explore how real scientists present themselves in social media? Stereotypes get busted!
Create an illustrated graph using real scientific data, and write an artist’s statement to explain your thinking. Try it with climate change!
Six inspiring science teachers have turned Science Friday media into innovative classroom resources.