Experiences of the New Guy at SMLI

June 12th, 2009 by Brian Gordon

For those of you who have been to the Science Museum of Long Island since the beginning of January, you’ve maybe recognized that there is a new person around the building that has been teaching classes.  Allow me to take a moment to tell you who I am and speak about my experiences thus far at the museum.

My name is Brian Gordon and I am indeed the newest teacher to come on board at SMLI.  Having been in the field of informal science education for a couple of years before joining the staff here, it’s been really nice to continue my career in education by working at such a unique and interesting organization.

There are many aspects of working at SMLI that make this place such an appealing non-profit institution.  Firstly, we offer an extensive variety of science programs for children and young adults.  This provides us, the educators, the ability to teach and work with children ranging in age from nursery on up through high school.  These experiences have allowed me to grow as teacher while having fun and inspiring an interest in nature and science for all who I interact with in the classroom.

A major emphasis of the science museum is for youth to learn about science through hands-on, experiential learning.  I firmly believe this is one of the best methods for someone to learn.  For example,  reading about animals is fun and educational, but being able to actually see animals up close to learn about their special features and pet them is an entirely different and exciting way to learn.  It’s been my experience since I’ve been here that almost all students genuinely appreciate and respond to experiential learning.  As the old saying goes, ” If you love your job, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”  I always apply that to learning, by thinking that if you love what you’re learning, than learning will never have to seem like work.

What is most definitely apparent to me in my experiences thus far at the museum is how dedicated each of the five teachers are to providing high quality science programs that are engaging and thought provoking for both students and teachers.  Being a science teacher is never a dull moment because there is so much to talk and learn about.  Science is one of those fields that is constantly evolving with new theories and discoveries.  I like my students to walk away from a lesson with the interest and confidence to pose their own questions about science and come up with their own theories so they can become the next great scientific thinkers.

With summer camp fastly approaching and an entire school year ready to begin next September, I’m eager to find out what new experiences await me.

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