Whitfield Chemistry and Physics Teacher, Chris Sellers, Shines at NAIS Thrive 2024

Whitfield Chemistry and Physics Teacher, Chris Sellers, Shines at NAIS Thrive 2024

Whitfield School's own Chris Sellers made a remarkable impression at this year's NAIS Thrive conference held in St. Louis, presenting an insightful PechaKucha on integrating technology into STEM education. His talk, titled “Catapulting Newton - Putting the T in STEM,” provided a fresh perspective on enriching physics education with innovative technology.

Chris skillfully linked Information Technology with upper school science curriculum, underscoring its critical role in providing real-world relevance and enhancing student learning. His abstract outlined the importance of technology in fostering a deeper understanding of science, improving data analysis skills, and promoting self-directed learning among other benefits.

In his presentation, Chris introduced three technologies: Virtual Reality (VR), Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and Computer Aided Design (CAD), and demonstrated how each could be applied to classical physics topics such as kinematics, electromagnetic radiation, and Newton's Laws. This approach not only enhances understanding but also inspires students to apply scientific principles in innovative ways.

The key themes of agility, flexibility, and adaptability in teaching methodologies were highlighted, showing how they cater to diverse learning styles and needs. Chris shared engaging examples from his current  experiences, including current student Grace, who used VR to explore Newton's laws, and current student Nolan, who employed GIS to tackle real-world issues.

The presentation also emphasized the significance of choosing the right platform for educational technology, which should be accessible, affordable, and engaging to ensure broad student reach and effective learning. Chris's approach to technology in education focuses on creating an interactive, engaging learning environment that encourages experimentation and fosters a positive attitude toward failure and resilience.

Concluding his talk, Chris left the audience with a powerful message: to embrace technology in education, take risks, and maintain an enjoyable learning environment. His presentation was not only a testament to his innovative teaching methods but also served as an inspiration for educators to integrate technology into their curriculum creatively.

The impact of Chris Sellers’ presentation at NAIS Thrive 2024 extends beyond the conference; it sets a precedent for how teachers can blend technology with traditional teaching to foster an environment where students develop a deeper understanding of traditional concepts with modern applications.

To watch Chris Seller's full presentation, click here.