This post is by Kellie Taylor, Ed.D., the 2018-2019 Library of Congress Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow.
It is difficult to write this blog post and consider saying farewell. My time at the Library of Congress has been an amazing adventure of discovery. In some ways I feel a bit like Lewis and Clark, who set off to explore westward and find a pathway to the Pacific Ocean, documenting their findings along the way. Much like the Lewis and Clark expedition, I started my journey of exploration and discovery with my prior experiences and training and filled in the blanks about primary sources along the way. Even though I did get lost in the tunnels my first week, I definitely found a pathway and connection from the Library of Congress resources to my classroom westward.
As a K-5 Engineering teacher, my initial focus was for creating a pathway between science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and the Library of Congress’s digitized primary sources. I looked at ways to assist students in examining technological advances, identifying problems, and developing solutions based on relevant primary sources. Much as Lewis and Clark documented what they found through communications to Thomas Jefferson and entries in their journals, I shared my findings through blog posts and social media. I further expanded my understanding of the Library’s resources and how I could connect it to the elementary classroom as I spent more time in the landscape of maps, music, rare books, prints and photographs, manuscripts, and so much more. Many of my adventures are documented in the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Teachers Network and on the Teaching with the Library of Congress Blog.
My amazing journey is coming to come to an end, and I find my excitement continues to grow for heading home and taking back all I have learned to share with educators and students. While my fellowship may not contain significant geographic and scientific knowledge of the West, I know it will impact the students and educators within my sphere of influence.
As I leave for my home in the West, I would like to share some of my favorite resources for connecting primary sources and STEM in the elementary classroom. Perhaps these will spark a journey of exploration and discovery for you.
- Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers at the Library of Congress
- Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey
- Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers
- Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond
- Understanding the Cosmos: Changing Models of the Solar System and the Universe
- The Inventive Wright Brothers
- Scientific Data: Observing, Recording, and Communicating Information
- Weather Forecasting
- Children’s Lives at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
- The Dust Bowl
- Westward Expansion: Encounters at a Cultural Crossroads
- Rivers, Edens, Empires: Lewis & Clark and the Revealing of America
Where will your journey of exploration and discovery take you?
Thank you to all at the Library of Congress and in the Einstein Fellowship program who have supported and contributed to my journey. My understanding is much more complete and detailed for having shared this journey with you. It’s time to go home.