Kristen Conklin is a Biology and Special Education Educator (ISS) at Francis Lewis High School. In addition, she is an active member of the science community with affiliations to the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) and The National Geographic Educator’s Community Board. She is a contributing author on a variety of journals and educational magazines. Recently, she has published three educational project-based learning units with the NSTA, Trouble with the Tavy, Planet versus Plastic, and The Price of Palm Oil. Kristen embeds current science content and research within her interdisciplinary Project Based Learning units.
Kristen fosters positive collaborative learning relationships, creativity, critical thinking, and perseverance by creating opportunities for students to deeply engage in content and direct their learning as they engage in Project Based Learning units. Her love for nature and people propels her desire to protect the environment and to encourage students to act as informed global citizens. She brings science to life for students at Francis Lewis High School and empowers them to become active members of their local community.
During the “Plastics versus Planet” unit, students started the unit by conducting a plastic audit which included collecting authentic data on personal plastic consumption in order to become more conscious consumers and think critically about the lessons to come. They also engaged in a community beach clean up and utilized Debris Tracker to contribute to scientific data. As a result, students then developed their own solutions to decreasing plastic consumption which included creating innovative utensils made from alternative biodegradable materials, contacting local politicians and government officials in Queens to ask about actions and policies being implemented in our communities to address pollution, and then researched global actions being taken to reduce the use of plastic.
In the past, Kristen has collaborated with the Queen North Borough Office and shared best practices for implementing high quality feedback and assessment systems in the science classroom.