Season 2, Episode 3

Building meaningful student connections in the science classroom

In this episode, Eric Cross sits down with Indiana State Teacher of the Year Sharita Ware to talk about how to successfully build meaningful student connections in the science classroom. Sharita shares her journey from a corporate career to becoming Indiana’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, and her passion for creating project-based lessons for her students. Together, Eric and Sharita discuss how educators can teach students to love science content by building strong relationships, adding in other content areas, and supporting students’ imagination.

Meet our guest(s):

Sharita Ware

Sharita Ware, a Purdue University graduate, is in her 10th year of teaching engineering and technology education to middle school students in the Tippecanoe School Corporation. Ware challenges her students with real-world, problem-based design scenarios that will help them contribute to global technology and integrated STEM. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Meet our host: Eric Cross

Eric Cross is a seventh grade science/technology teacher, grade level lead, and digital learning innovator for Albert Einstein Academies, International Baccalaureate schools. He is also an adjunct professor of learning and technology at the University of San Diego and a Google certified innovator. Eric earned a bachelor’s degree from Azusa Pacific University and a Master of Education from the University of San Diego. He had 17 years of experience working with at-risk youth and underserved populations before becoming a middle school teacher. By building relationships with students, colleagues, and the community, he has become an empowered leader in and out of the classroom. Through meaningful learning experiences centered around student agency, STEM has become accessible to students through highly engaging lesson design, thoughtful integration of digital tools, and culturally relevant pedagogy.

Transcripts and additional resources

Show notes:


Sometimes, empowering your students to understand the why is what allows them to be able to do bigger and greater things on their own. - Sharita Ware