It’s helped me decide whether to get my Ph.D. to teach at the collegiate level or get a teaching license for secondary education.
I worked in Luther’s biology department with Dr. Jodi Enos-Berlage and Andrew Johnson, a 2015 Luther graduate who is going into science education with HHMI’s (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) fifth-year program. Our research project was a continuation of an ongoing project monitoring water quality in the agricultural watershed that’s located south of Decorah.
In addition to our research, we assisted with an elementary science educators workshop that Luther hosted as part of another HHMI program and worked to reshape existing advanced high school lab procedures for younger students.
It’s given me the chance to interact with current teachers, hear their stories, and work to establish a lab lesson plan for younger students. It’s also given me a taste of research at the collegiate level, something that would be a big part of my life if I were to pursue a Ph.D. This opportunity has allowed me to explore both options in a more hands-on way and will be extremely helpful as I continue with my decision process.
The HHMI grant provided valuable experiences in education and biology. It gave me the opportunity to connect with peers in science education and current science educators in Decorah. I also gained experience in teaching and speaking about my work, developing lab protocols, and doing research in my field.
Absolutely! For education students, it provides great support to further explore your chosen field and make connections. I would also recommend my position (the “student researcher” leg of the trio) to those who are considering a career in education as it is a wonderful way to gain insight into the profession.