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Isabella science teacher goes nationwide

Jay LeCroy, a science instructor at Isabella High School, spent his spring break learning from experts at the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Philadelphia.

LeCroy was one of just two teachers from Alabama to attend the conference. While there, he had the opportunity to network with science teachers from around the country and even met one of his heroes, Bill Nye “The Science Guy.” Nye is best known for his role in the Disney show of the same title.

“He’s sort of a rock star for science teachers,” LeCroy said. “To get a chance to meet him and hear him speak about what’s going on in science was sort of the highlight of the conference.”

During the weeklong conference, LeCroy met with experts in the fields of chemistry, physics and engineering in hope of bringing back ideas that will increase hands-on or “inquiry-based” learning. He talked with fellow instructors about different ways of enhancing the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math in the classroom.

Inquiry-based learning was the conference theme for 2010.

“I spent a great deal of time in classes with teachers who are a lot more experienced than me, picking up on their techniques,” LeCroy said.

For the past year, he has participated in a mentorship program through NSTA, which allows teachers from different states to do online training.

LeCroy has also met with book publishers. At the NSTA conference, he was able to look at a variety of textbooks to decide which book is the right fit for his classroom.

“NSTA gives me a tremendous amount of grant opportunities,” he said.

LeCroy was sponsored by a company called Amgen through the New Science Teacher Academy.