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Unit Four
Selecting and Working with Your Science Partner

In the first three units, you developed an understanding of informal STEM learning and the many ways that librarians are promoting ISL in their communities. You’ve also become familiar with the videos and books in the Pushing the Limits series.
  

In this unit you will:

    • Consider the role and ideal characteristics of a science partner

 

    • Begin to identify organizations and individuals in your community who can assist you with recruiting a science partner

 

  • Learn about different ways you might collaborate with your science partner to co-facilitate the Pushing the Limits programs

 

 

An important element of the Pushing the Limits programs is the science partner.

You’ll be working with your science partner as you plan and implement the programs. You each have important roles in the collaboration. In this unit, we’re focusing primarily on the science partner. Your roles and responsibilities will be covered in more detail in Unit Six.

A science partner might be someone you’ve never thought of as a scientist…maybe a local extension agent, a forest ranger, your high school biology teacher, or a retired engineer who serves on your library board. All of these people are scientists.

What makes someone a scientist? A scientist is a person who has had the training and/or experience to look at the world in a scientific way. The first video explores which characteristics will make a scientist (that you may already know) a great science partner.

Unit Four, Video One
What Makes a Great Science Partner?

 

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    • Now is a good time to share your strategies for identifying and selecting a science partner. It will be an opportunity to get feedback about your ideas, as well as expand your list of possible community groups and organizations for partnerships to support the program series. Go to the Community of Practice and select the discussion thread, “Unit Four: Selecting Your Science Partner”.  

       
      After exchanging ideas and strategies in the Community of Practice, return to this page to learn about your role in working with your science partner as a co-facilitator of the Pushing the Limits programs.

 

    • Download Strategies to Identify and Select Your Science Partner, and add notes about people you might contact as you begin to identify a science partner. arrows

 

  • Take 5-10 minutes to write down your thoughts about possible science partners.
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Next, listen to three librarians talk about their experiences identifying and selecting a science partner. Keep your science partner notes nearby; you may want to add other possible people and places to contact.

Unit Four, Video Two
Identifying a Science Partner

 

 

Your science partner plays a key role, but you do too. As the co-facilitator, you will be collaborating with your science partner to plan and present the programs. Your knowledge of the community, your partnerships with local groups and organizations, and your program planning skills are all critical to the success of the programs.

The librarians and other staff members who have implemented the Pushing the Limits program series at their libraries offer good words of advice for planning programs and working with your science partner.

Unit Four, Video Three
Working with Your Science Partner

 

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    • Download and read Working With Your Science Partner. arrows

 

  • After reading the document, discuss your co-facilitator role in the Community of Practice. Select the discussion thread, “Unit Four: Working with Your Science Partner,” to share your ideas and raise any questions you might have about collaborating with your science partner and becoming an informal science learning facilitator.
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