S1-06: Supporting students with a creative twist: A conversation with Kentucky Science Teacher of the Year, Shad Lacefield

In this episode, Eric sits down with the Kentucky Science Teacher of the Year, Shad Lacefield. Shad shares his experience teaching during the first year of the pandemic, where Shad dressed up in over 100 costumes to create a unique and engaging online learning experience for his students. Shad also explains ways he connects with his students to celebrate student success, as well as large-scale efforts he leads within his school to cultivate the love of learning science content. Explore more from Science Connections by visiting our main page.

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What teachers say

What Shad Lacefield says about science

“It’s about being engaged with your students and figuring out what are they liking. Every year it’s going to be different…when you have conversations and you build relationships with your kids.”

- Shad Lacefield
4th Grade Science Teacher, District Elementary Science

Meet the guest

Shad Lacefield is a teacher at Garden Springs Elementary and part-time professor at Asbury University in Kentucky. Mr. Lacefield leads professional development in his district, and has been a guest speaker for Eastern Kentucky University, Campbellsville University, and Amplify Education. His topics include classroom managment, integrating techology, and student engagement. He earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Campbellsville University in 2007, and his master’s in science from Southwest Baptist University in 2011. Shad has either taught or coached every grade K-12, and in his 14 years in education he has served as a lead teacher in literacy, math, science, and social studies. He currently coordiantes with the FCPS Office of Instructional Technology to plan Minecraft build challenges for elementary students, and is working on setting up a science field trip that turns a golf course into a STEM lab. During the first year of the pandemic, Shad dressed up in over 100 costumes to create a unique and engaging online learning experience for his students. He also created Vader Visits where he visited students at their homes dressed as Darth Vader to celebrate their online successes, and keep them encouraged during a challenging time. His creative teaching style, and over 50 “Vader Visits” with students, have been featured on WKYT-TV, LEX-18, Spectrum 1 News, and several local and college news publications. Shad lives in Lexington Kentucky with his wife Whitney Lacefield and their three children.

Check out his websiteYouTube channel, and Facebook account!

About Science Connections

Welcome to Science Connections! Science is changing before our eyes, now more than ever. So…how do we help kids figure that out? We will bring on educators, scientists, and more to discuss the importance of high-quality science instruction. In this episode, hear from our host Eric Cross about his work engaging students as a K-8 science teacher. Listen here!