As educators begin planning their lessons for next year, we asked Bella Coletta, a Step Into Biology subject matter expert and member of our Teacher Advisor Board, to be a guest contributor to this blog and share her thoughts on how to creatively complement your curriculum with the Step Into Biology app.
Step Into Biology’s multiplayer augmented reality (AR) technology is a powerful tool for enhancing the learning experience and making science curriculum more engaging.
Step Into Biology is grounded by the main principles of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), offering practical skills, techniques, and crosscutting concepts that help young scientists understand and explore the natural world.
One of the key features of the NGSS is the focus on inquiry-based learning. Rather than simply memorizing facts and concepts, students are encouraged to explore scientific phenomena through hands-on activities and investigations. Step Into Biology excels in supporting this approach both in the classroom and for remote learners, helping students develop critical thinking skills as well as a deeper understanding of how science works.
The goal of Step Into Biology is to make learning more interactive and to address the 5 Es in its methodology, but the ease of use of the Step Into Biology app design and the incredible visualizations is what makes it a real game changer for the classroom.
Step Into Biology not only appeals to all learning styles, but it also allows students to share in unique virtual field trip experiences that develop important social and emotional skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving.
I’ve found that using Step Into Biology in the classroom has also sparked an interest in science for many of my students, even those reluctant to get involved or participate in class discussion. When they see scientific concepts come to life through AR, they become more excited about learning. The multiple opportunities to practice their skills and to test their knowledge have really increased both retention and bringing abstract scientific concepts to life.
After Step Into Biology was exhibited at NSTA we got such amazing feedback from teachers that had their students download the app to use it in the classroom. Teacher Laura Elwood from Detroit, MI sent us this note, which really expresses it all.
I would love to join your advisory group. I loved this app when I saw you present it. I went back to school and had my students download the app and I got the best reactions. Oh, Mrs. Elwood, this is awesome. That's sick. Woooooaaaaaahhhhhhhh. And they started using vocabulary as review before their test.
Having been involved with Step Into Biology as a member of the Teacher Advisor Board and as a subject matter expert, I have had the privilege to collaborate with the passionate Step Into Biology team. As we work together to increase engagement with educators across the U.S., we welcome your comments, questions, and support.