The Teach Better 22 Conference was held in Akron, OH from October 13 - 15. It was three days of inspiration, motivation, instructional strategies, and support for educators from all around the world. The Teach Better Team’s motto is “Better today than yesterday, better tomorrow than today,” and everyone at the conference embodied that mindset. I was honored to be one of the speakers at the event and share the mission of Foldscope with everyone there.
I started Thursday morning exploring the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail to collect river water samples to use in my session. It is a beautiful trail that follows the water and is surrounded by the changing leaves of the season. I was able to access the river and collected samples of water, moss, and mud to use the next day.
The conference took place at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Middle School. It is a former museum that was transformed into a school. I loved the unique learning spaces located both inside and outside of the building.
The conference was intentionally designed to be small so that you could truly get to know everyone in attendance, from the keynote speakers, to the session presenters, to the attendees. I had nine people participate in my workshop presentation and they ranged from teacher coaches and mentors, technology coaches, science teachers, ELA teachers, and English Language Learners support teachers. And these educators work with all ages of students ranging from elementary, middle, and high school, up to adults. It was great to be able to expand their view of what scientific tools could look like, and how much fun science learning can be!
At the end of the session, everyone was excited to bring Foldscopes to their schools and couldn’t stop talking about how much fun they had with me. Word about Foldscopes quickly spread through the conference and people who did not attend the session sought me out throughout the day on both Friday and Saturday. As a result, I gave several more “mini demonstrations” for the duration of the conference. I also attended several other sessions where Foldscopes were brought up as a way to support what the speaker was talking about.
The enthusiasm for Foldscopes was not limited to just those in attendance at the conference. These educators also shared their excitement on social media so that even their educator friends who did not attend could hear about the Foldscope company, our mission, and our products.
I finished up the weekend feeling incredibly uplifted by working alongside such passionate and dedicated educators. It is my sincere hope that the people that I met at the Teach Better 22 conference will incorporate Foldscopes into their daily instruction so that more students will have the opportunity to experience the thrill of scientific discovery one Foldscope at a time.