Betsy Schamber | SD EPSCoR STEM Teacher Leaders

Hello! My name is Betsy Schamber. I currently teach 7th grade science and Design Challenge at
Madison Middle School in Madison, South Dakota. I love being a science teacher because science is EVERYWHERE! Everything cool and amazing in the world around us can be tied back to some type of science or phenomena. I come from a family of teachers, and education has always had enormous value and importance in my world. However, growing up I did not love my science classes. It took a fantastic chemistry teacher during my freshman year of college to help me understand that I really loved scientific learning, I just hadn’t loved my previous methods of learning science. Now, my biggest fear as an instructor is that students will believe that science education comes solely from a textbook. My goal is to create an environment where students are accessing research and information from multiple sources, in multiple ways, to use as evidence in their investigations. I want students to be empowered to be curious and tenacious in finding the answers to their questions. The diversity and creativity that I am allowed through science education lets me make my lessons relevant, rigorous, current, hands-on, and exciting. The best part of my job is seeing students learn to love and appreciate the science around them, grow as scientists, and continue through life as inquisitive learners.

Throughout my career I have served on numerous science, technology and leadership committees and teams. I have been a part of the South Dakota Cohort of Science Educators, learning about the shift to our new vision for science. I helped write the current South Dakota Science Standards for K-12 educators, and have facilitated workshops and online classes to promote learning, understanding and application of the new vision for science education and its three dimensions. In addition, I have worked to inservice K-12 teachers on methods and strategies for incorporating the new science standards into their classes. On a personal note, I have also attended Space Camp for Educators in Huntsville, Alabama and spent two weeks working with researchers at the National Institute for Standards and Technology.  I currently serve as that seventh grade team leader and Madison Middle School Science Chair. I was also recently name the South Dakota Association for Middle Level Educators’ 2017 Middle School Teacher of the Year.