By Audrey Alfson
Special for the Argus
Neil Molstad, science teacher at Houston High School, holds a box, empty except for six paper clips, and provides instruction to his students. His lesson: using paper airplanes to spark a conversation about evolution. Their task is to try to hit the box with the airplane.
The first six that do, earn a paper clip and live another day. Those that don’t, die.
And so the lesson continues in rounds of attempts at the box, with further discussion on life cycle, fairness and opportunity.
The competition is spirited, yet the outcome secure for only a few. “Natural selection” rules the game.
This creative approach to teaching a concept is one of many lessons Molstad is using and refining in his classroom. And with the support of a Fellowship from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), Molstad will continue to develop creative ways to meaningfully engage students in science for years to come.
For the entire story, see the Feb. 29 issue of the Caledonia Argus.