NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Elizabeth Barrett-Zahn, the science coordinator for Columbus Elementary School in the City School District of New Rochelle, has been named editor of Science and Children, a national award-winning peer-reviewed practitioners’ journal from the National Science Teachers Association with an audience of preK–5 science educators.
Zahn took over as editor in April. The first issue of Science and Children under her leadership was published in late July and focused on the Science Practices of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). She served a three-year term as a member of the Advisory Board for Science and Children, and has been a reviewer for ten years.
“I am so excited about the editorship and the opportunities that it provides for me to have a voice in elementary science education,” said Zahn. “My philosophy of science education is to start with children and create learning situations where students can creatively solve problems, find solutions and learn and practice how to communicate with others. In general, that means hands-on, minds-on inquiry-based learning with lots of time for discovery, and celebration of strengths and discoveries.”
Zahn has taught at Columbus since 1993. Her field experience began at Columbus after which she was hired as a Science Triad. In this position, Zahn worked with all teachers in the school and ran the Discovery Room, a place where students interacted with science and engineering materials, much like today’s Makers Spaces.
Zahn graduated summa cum laude from Lehman College where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology, Biology, and Chemistry. Her science interest has been fueled by ongoing experiences, including being part of Columbia University Summer Research Program where she became a member of the Tree Ring Lab at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory for two summers. She also taught an afterschool STEM program in Malaysia, worked with educators in Singapore, and was a guest teacher in a Japanese school.
Last summer, Zahn was offered a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term grant to travel to Vietnam and work with a local school to help develop an integrated STEM program.
“One of my goals for the journal is to explore the global interconnectedness of teaching and learning,” said Zahn. “As a former Fulbright traveling to Vietnam to work with educators, I feel it is imperative that our students learn through a global perspective. We need to build our relationships through communication and collaboration to understand and solve common global issues.”