Know-Care-Do: Future science teachers become agents of change

February 20, 2018

Spartan educator reads aloud to students in class. If a recent competition is any indication, MSU’s future science teachers are well on their way to becoming agents of change to ensure minimal human impact on our environment.

The goal of a competition sponsored by the Center for Integrative Studies in General Science was to promote future teachers’ view of themselves as agents of change in the classroom, while also informing the public and promoting change regarding environmental issues.

MSU elementary education majors were put to the test on the concept of “Know-Care-Do.” This approach to integrated science education emphasizes science concepts (Know) and engages empathy (Care) while prompting students to take action (Do).

Out of 72 video and poster entries, four winners and four honorable mentions were selected. The award recipients were honored at an awards ceremony on January 26.

“The knowing component allowed me to teach my audience about water in general,” said Molly McDermott, who was a winner with her video titled Water. “The caring component allowed me, and my audience, to gain an understanding about how people are affected. Finally, the doing component allowed me to see how easy it is to make a change.”

“Speaking with people involved in an issue really brought the problem to life and helped me make a human connection that inspired me to think of possible solutions,” said Madison Berman, who won with her video titled The Water Around Us.

“The Know-Care-Do method is genius,” said Kayli Silverstein, who won for her video titled Human Impact Project. “It is a brilliant way to get students interested in an issue in society. This project truly opened my eyes to the difficulties many developing countries have with the everyday tasks we are able to do.”

Rachel Yates, who received an honorable mention for her poster, Food Scarcity Project, found that her participation was an important part of her journey as a future educator. “As a teacher I will have many opportunities to inform my students on the problems in our society, and I can persuade others and organize ways we can help.”

“We are doing a project that can impact the world,” said Jennifer LeChard, who received an honorable mention for her video, Fuels.

Other award winners were: Jessica Fleis, who won for her poster, Human Impact Project: Carbon Reduction; Cyntara Herndon, who received an honorable mention for her video titled A Little Story about Water; and Molly Johnson, who received an honorable mention for her poster, Water Is Essential for Life.

Judges for the competition were drawn from various MSU units, including University Advancement Marketing and Communications, the Mathematics Education program, and the Center for Integrative Studies in General Science, as well as from the general public.

The competition was funded by the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation and supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

This post, originally written by Valerie Osowski, is also published on