Science Education Saturday

I just got the program for the event at the Bell Museum tomorrow. If you are inspired and want to show up, you can register at the door ($10) and get in.

Science Education Saturday

November 11, 2006

Sponsored by Minnesota Citizens for
Science Education (MnCSE, The Bell Museum of Natural
History, and the College of Biological Sciences, UM-TC.

A scientifically
literate population is essential to Minnesota’s future. To that end, Minnesota
Citizens for Science Education (MnCSE) will bring together the combined
resources of teachers, scientists, and citizens to assure, defend, and promote
the teaching and learning of evolutionary biology and other sciences in K-12
public school science classrooms, consistent with current scientific knowledge,
theories, and practice.

9:00 a.m. Welcome from Jim Curtsinger,
MnCSE and College of Biological Sciences, UM-TC and Scott Lanyon, MnCSE and
Director, Bell Museum

9:15 a.m. Mark Borrello, College of
Biological Sciences, UM-TC

“Teach the Controversy? A view from the history of science”

Supporters of teaching intelligent design
have used the slogan "Teach the controversy" to describe and promote
their position. In this talk, Dr. Borello will use some episodes from the
history of science to show that while teaching scientific controversies should
be a fundamental part of good science education, the current dispute over ID
doesn’t qualify. The hope is that science teachers may be able to incorporate
some of these examples into their courses and at the same time developed
reasoned historical arguments for excluding intelligent design.

10:15 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m. Randy
College of Education and Human Development, UM-TC

“Creationism in
Minnesota’s Biology Classrooms? What the courts have said about the teaching of
evolution and creationism”

Biology teachers often encounter emotional
responses from students, parents, and administrators who are uncomfortable
with, or threatened by, the teaching of evolution. In many instances, the best
way to handle the situation is to cite what the courts have said about the
topic. What if a student/parent is offended by evolution? Can a teacher give
equal time to creationism? Must a teacher give equal time to creationism? And
what about "intelligent design"? An understanding of the legal issues
associated with the teaching of evolution and creationism can help teachers
ensure that their students learn about one of the most powerful ideas in
science — evolution.

11:30 a.m. Lunch

courtesy of ADC Foundation

Science Education

12:30 p.m. Panel
Discussion – Teaching Evolution in the Classroom

Panel introduced and moderated by P. Z.
Myers, Division of Science and Math, UM-Morris; Owner of the blog, Pharyngula

Panel Members:
Dawn Clawson, St. Paul Central High School, retired

Bruce Leventhal, Forest Lake Area High School
Tom Meagher, Owatonna schools

Dawn Norton, Minnetonka High School
Mark Peterson, Dassel-Cokato schools

These five Minnesota teachers will talk about
their experiences teaching evolution in the classroom – how they teach
it, how it’s received, how they’ve handled conflict, administrative support and
community response. There will be plenty of time for questions and comments!

2:00 p.m. Closing
– Please
exchange your evaluation form for a certificate of attendance

2:20 p.m. Optional
tours of UM labs led by researchers – Meet Jim Curtsinger in the lobby of
the Bell Museum

Thanks and
acknowledgements to:

Foundation, William Linder-Scholer, Executive Director

Bell Museum
of Natural History, Faculty and Staff members

Board Members
of MnCSE

Karen Oberhauser, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology,
Director of Monarchs in the Classroom

Don Luce, Curator of Exhibits, Bell Museum of Natural History (MnCSE logo

Charlie Curtsinger, UM student (web site design)

John Cairns, Briggs & Morgan, P.A.

The National
Center for Science Education, Oakland, CA


  1. vfr800guy says

    This sounds like a good seminar… it just seems to me that you’ll be preaching to the proverbial choir. What I think would be better is if you put the content of this talk into some other format & sent it to every school board member & biology teacher in the state. That way when any school board brought up the topic of ID an intelligent rebuttal would be ready.