Kim Preshoff, longtime science educator and enthusiast at Williamsville North High School located in Upstate New York, explained the impetus behind using TED-Ed Lessons in both of her environmental science classrooms daily. We sat down with Kim at TEDActive 2014 to ask her about the lessons she uses most – and what she loves about them as a tool to educate.
Juan D. Martinez’s TEDYouth talk Detention or Eco Club: Choosing your future is a favorite of Kim’s to kick off the school year. It tells an inspiring story of a young man growing up around gangs in South Central Los Angeles. Kim hopes that the lesson can inspire her classes to understand how the environment can change lives.
Kim has used Matthew Ross’s lesson Vermicomposting: How worms can reduce our waste in conjunction with a unit on soil quality and its impact on farming and agriculture. This lesson particularly connected to one of her students whose family owns a farm.
Kim’s school is lucky enough to house a planetarium, so she was thrilled to connect David Laskin’s lesson Tracking grizzly bears from space with her students’ real-life experience.
Some of the lessons Kim uses teach a particular fact, while others focus on an attitude she’d like to impart to her students. Kim loves using David Gallo’s Deep ocean mysteries and wonders to celebrate the latter. “[My students] think everything has been discovered,” Kim shared, but even an expert like David Gallo finds such joy in knowing that there’s still something worth exploring and discovering. His joy for science is infectious.
Though Kim is currently teaching environmental science, above all she just loves science, having taught earth science, biology, and chemistry in past years. Kim’s personal favorite TED-Ed Lesson as a science lover? That would be Leslie Kenna’s The brilliance of bioluminescence.