I would in no way compare myself to Benjamin Franklin--for a number of very good reasons. However, as a newly minted science Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress, I recognize that reflecting on Franklin, both as man and myth, might help me make sense of the opportunities ahead.
Talking with science teachers at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference last month reminded me that a couple of years ago the Library of Congress hosted a Teacher in Residence with a background in science.
Scientific investigations with plants are a staple in elementary school classrooms. Young learners study plant structures and functions, what plants need to grow, how plants reproduce and pass on genetic information, and how matter and energy move in ecosystems. As they learn core scientific ideas, students should simultaneously engage in the practices of scientists. Historic photographs can serve as windows into planning and carrying out scientific investigations.