Digital Learning Showcase
Featured Educator: Caleb Wilson
Printing 3D Prototypes Makes Science Come Alive
"Caleb serves as a model for his colleagues, demonstrating how to engage students in phenomenon-based instruction where students are tasked with exploring science and making sense of the world around them."
- Jennifer Sills
Worcester County Public Schools'
Coordinator of Science Instruction
Berlin, Md. — Passion, creativity, and tinkering is alive and well at Stephen Decatur Middle School as one science teacher is pushing the boundaries to enhance learning for students. The highly engaging classroom belongs to seventh grade teacher Caleb Wilson, who is the March 2020 Digital Learning Showcase Recipient sponsored by the Maryland Society for Educational Technology.
Wilson's passion for science education is apparent as he can be found constantly maneuvering around his classroom; staying stagnant is not an option for Wilson. An Apple certified educator, Wilson supports his instruction through the use of an iPad and mirroring capabilities using an AirServer. HIs willingness to be an early Apple adopter has resulted in modeling instruction through the iPad as his class is entirely paperless. Recently, Wilson co-presented at the inaugural WoCo Tech Summit on utilizing iPads for instructional in the classroom to a jam packed session of fellow educators.
"Caleb is always looking for new ways for students to experience the science curriculum," Stephen Decatur Middle School Principal H. Lynn Barton explained. "With the resources available, Caleb consistently integrates technology into his classroom and does it seamlessly. He is always looking for new advances and opportunities to improve and enhance his teaching using technology."
Making science come to life has been a passion for Wilson which has lead him to tinkering with 3D printing. The stroke of curiosity has resulted in a mindset change as Wilson continually learns about the possibilities 3D printing has in the field of science education. Wilson, who is self taught, has spent countless hours in computer aided design programs becoming a DIY scientist creating prototypes of plants and animal cells, skulls to view human evolution, and parts to model a collapsing train car to support his instruction. Like many teachers, he awards a Student of the Month, but his trophy is 3D printed in his classroom each month for one lucky student.
"Caleb understands the WCPS vision for science education and is continually pushing forward to be as innovative and effective as possible. Caleb's passion for science compels everyone around him to be a more inspiring and engaging teacher for their students," Worcester County Public Schools Coordinator of Science Jennifer Sills articulated about Wilson's talents and passion for teaching. "Caleb is part of the Science Teacher Leaders team for WCPS and has been integral in moving teachers forward with the NGSS and 3-dimensional science instruction. Caleb serves as a model for his colleagues, demonstrating how to engage students in phenomenon-based instruction where students are tasked with exploring science and making sense of the world around them. His work with curriculum and instruction continues to advance our county and help teachers grow."
In addition to his 3D printing skills, Wilson is a lead teacher for the district's learning management system, Schoology. He provides professional learning for his colleagues in small groups and one-on-one sessions throughout the school. However, Wilson's dedication doesn't end with the last bell. He can be found supporting and teaching in the after school program as well.
"Caleb makes learning fun for students," District Instructional Technology & Innovation Coach Dr. Brian Cook shared. " He doesn't mind putting in the extra time to make learning memorable to children. Every day, Caleb is working to inspire students to go into the field of science; he is sparking the interest of science in students who may have never seen themselves loving science because of the way he uses technology to keep their interest."
About Digital Learning Showcase
MSET is taking the opportunity to highlight best practices in classroom teaching, leading, and learning with educational technology from around the state of Maryland. The goal is to spotlight innovations of members and nonmembers throughout different public and private school settings. Each month teachers, school leaders, and community members are asked to nominate individuals who support innovation and educational technology in a school setting.
MSET is a non-profit organization with the purpose of promoting the improvement of the teaching-learning process through effective technology integration into all curricular areas as well as fostering and promoting excellence technology in education. MSET is an affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a leading international network for technology professionals