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Education Desk: Is it Possible to Put a “Scientist in Every Florida School”?

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Chelsea Holloway teaches eighth grade science at Teague Middle School. She'll partner with scientist Jeanette Pirlo in the "Scientist in Every Florida School" program. Photo: Danielle Prieur

The University of Florida’s “Scientist in Every Florida School” program will place scientists in K-12 classrooms in Escambia, Alachua, Seminole, Lee, and Palm Beach Counties.

At Teague Middle School in Altamonte Springs, UF PhD candidate in paleontology Jeanette Pirlo will visit eighth grade teacher Chelsea Holloway’s science class. 

The Education Desk spoke with Pirlo about how students will get to participate in “micro-digs” on soil samples from her excavation in Williston. She says they’ll look for fossils of smaller mammals that lived alongside the larger prehistoric elephants she studies.

Hollaway got to visit Pirlo’s lab during a four-day professional development workshop in July. She’ll incorporate this earth systems science into her lesson plans for the year.

In January science teachers from around the state will participate in the Seminole County Environmental Studies Center’s “Scientist in Every Florida School” summit. They’ll complete a condensed, one-day version of this workshop.

The “Scientist in Every Florida School” program is part of UF’s moonshot initiative. It’s aimed at solving Florida’s most pressing problems including a shortage of students pursuing careers in STEM.

For more information on the “Scientist in Every Florida School” program, click on the link. 

If you’d like to listen to the interview, click on the clip above.

Education reporting on 90.7 News is supported by Helios Education Foundation.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »