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Faculty Feature: Meet Science Teacher Ms. Little

Ms. Caroline Little teaches Middle School Science here at Vis. She is a National Geographic certified educator and was recently selected as one of 50 Grosvenor Teaching Fellows in the nation, which will allow her to explore some of the world’s most extraordinary locations. Ms. Little was also named a national finalist for K-8 Earth Science teaching. Let’s get to know her a little better!

  1. What do you like best about teaching at Vis?
    Every day I get to teach the most amazing students who come to class excited to learn about the world around them. Their curiosity inspires me to never stop learning. I also get to work alongside remarkable colleagues who share ideas and inspire me to never stop growing.
     
  2. What are some highlights of your Science curriculum?
    Students spend time outside every week this year in their wonder spots, noticing macro changes on a micro scale, observing and recording patterns in the natural world, and understanding natural phenomena. This spring, for our unit on Space, students will get the chance to meet and ask questions of a space scientist and inventor who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. We also do video conference chats with a wide variety of explorers and scientists as time and opportunities arise.
     
  3. What do you do in your classroom to spark your students’ sense of exploration and wonder?
    I try to do as many hands-on things as possible. This has been a bit of a challenge this year, but students are still exploring the wonders of the micro world around them with foldable/portable microscopes; engineering and designing ways to keep shorelines from eroding; and extracting DNA from bananas.
     
  4. You recently received a prestigious Grosvenor Teaching Fellowship. What does this mean for you? How will this opportunity impact your teaching?
    I am honored to be selected as a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow! I’m excited to represent Visitation and gain first-hand experiences and knowledge of the interconnectedness of the human and natural world. This experience will help me in my teaching to inspire students to SEE themselves as Scientists, Engineers, and Explorers and to become more globally minded citizens who are empowered to take action.
     
  5. Lightning round! What is your favorite...
    Book you read this past year? Oh this is hard as I LOVE to read! Let’s go with what’s currently on my nightstand: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly, and The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna.
    Food to cook? I’ve been making a ridiculous amount of wild rice soup this year. It’s my mother and grandmother’s recipe and it always reminds me of them!
    Music to listen to? I’ve been pretty into listening to Taylor Swift these days.
    Science experiment to do? The Osmosis Egg Experiment! In this experiment we study the shifting of water across a membrane by examining a demineralized egg. Immersing raw eggs in vinegar for 2-4 days will dissolve egg shells and leave a fragile, thin, semi-permeable covering similar to that of a human body cell. We study what happens when an egg sits in vinegar for a week; when an egg goes from vinegar to a corn syrup solution; and when an egg goes from vinegar, to corn syrup, to green colored water. At each stage the egg is taken out of its solution and weighed, and students answer questions about what they think is going on. The students really enjoy it!
    Osmosis Egg Experiment

Thank you to Ms. Little for sharing her thoughts! She makes us #visproud, and we are so happy to have her on our faculty.