S3-01: Science as the underdog, and the research behind it

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Get ready for season 3 of Science Connections: The Podcast!

In our first episode, we unpack the research around our season theme of science as the underdog with Horizon Research, Inc. Vice President Eric R. Banilower and  Senior Researcher Courtney Plumley. Eric and Courtney dive into the research they’ve found and their experiences as former educators to show how science is often overlooked in K–12 classrooms. We discuss how the science classroom compares to other subjects in terms of time and resources, how schools are a reflection of society, and what’s needed to change science and its impact on a larger scale.

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What teachers say

What Eric R. Banilower says about science

“Our data is showing us places where the system needs to provide teachers and their students the opportunities to do great things.”

- Eric R. Banilower
Vice President of Horizon Research, Inc.

Meet the guests

Eric R. Banilower is a Vice President at Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI), and has worked in education for over 30 years. Eric was previously a high school physics and physical science teacher before he joined HRI in 1997, where he has worked on a number of research and evaluation projects. Most recently, he has been the Principal Investigator of the 2012 and 2018 iterations of the National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education, a nationally representative survey focusing on the status of the K–12 STEM education system.

Courtney Plumley is a Senior Researcher at Horizon Research, Inc. She began her career in education as an elementary school teacher before starting at HRI in 2009. In her time at HRI she has worked on many K-12 STEM research and evaluation projects. Most recently, Ms. Plumley has worked with Carnegie Corporation of New York on mapping the landscape of K-12 science education in the US and is managing the field test for the OpenSciEd elementary materials.

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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.