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Dr. Eric Brunsell, Edutopia's STEM Group Facilitator, Introduces Science Chat on Twitter (#scichat)

Betty Ray

Senior Editor at Large
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Editor's Note: Our guest blogger this week is Eric Brunsell, who is the facilitator of both the STEM group on Edutopia as well as the bi-weekly #scichat (more below).

If you have ever been to an education conference, you will probably agree that a lot of the best learning comes from the discussions between sessions, dinner, or at other "unscripted" times when you have the opportunity to share with other passionate professionals. We need these types of interactions to keep moving our craft forward.

#scichat provides a way for scientists and educators to engage in an ongoing discussion with the goal of sharing ideas, growing professionally and improving the teaching of science. This "hashtag" can be used at any time to share your thoughts or resources with other science educators. However, the real power of #scichat is to develop a community through real-time events every other Tuesday night (9:00 Eastern). The topic for each event will usually be selected in advance by the community.

Last week, educators from around the world participated in the first #scichat on Twitter. Participants shared ideas on how to increase the relevancy of school science. The discussion ranged from the role of textbooks, to discipline integration, to the incorporation of authentic projects and real-world events. A few of the participants took steps to collaborate on a project to have their students analyze TED videos this fall. A full transcript is available here.

Join us for the next #scichat! Use the Twtpoll or suggest a future topic in the comment section below.

The Next #scichat

Tuesday, June 22 @ 9:00 Eastern (Every two weeks)

Moderators: Eric Brunsell (@brunsell) & Jeff Goldstein (@doctorjeff)

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Kenni Smith's picture

This is very exciting! Can't wait! I'm noticing that hashtag chats with really broad topics feel (at least they do to me) like brainstorming--zingy, zappy, electrifying, energizing--which is, of course, fantastic. Web 2.0 tools is just such a topic. I would also love to see more specific topics, to focus all these inquisitive, creative minds on a specific issue or question. And I guess that having said that, I need to give examples! Here are a couple:

A subtopic of assessment: If seems that more testing may be on the horizon in all the content areas, science included. How can science educators create and use deeper and more authentic kinds of assessment in a context of test-based accountability?

A subtopic of web 2.0 tools: How can educators ensure that as students learn harness the power of web 2.0 tools for science, they also learn digital citizenship?

Onward and upward!

Kenni Smith
Developmental Studies Center

Eric Brunsell's picture
Eric Brunsell
Asst Professor of Science Education @ UW-Oshkosh


The #scichat topics are community driven, so we have done chats related to a variety of topics. The last two were focused on the Framework for New Science Education Standards and implementing science inquiry. Great resources and ideas were shared! The topics are selected via a poll - assessment finished 2nd to science inquiry last week. It is currently in the lead for the 8/17 #scichat. You can view the archives, vote for the next topic, and suggest future topics here:

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