Get to know our James Scholars – Elissa Chou

Hi, my name is Elissa Chou!

During this semester at Sustainable World Collaborative, I worked on researching resources for teachers specifically from North America and even locally around the Champaign-Urbana area. This semester in particular has been incredibly helpful to my path to becoming a good elementary teacher due to a combination of SWC research as well as my amazing science course giving me the opportunity to actually use the SWC database. I was not really aware of how many resources regarding sustainability and science in general there were that were accessible online and in the community. For example, I wasn’t aware that Champaign had its own forest preserve in the area until my science course this semester had an assignment where we had to explore the area for sustainability resources. Because of SWC, I was much more aware of how to find various resources both online and in person and how to sift through topics that were helpful and things that I should not spend too much time on. One of my favorite moments during my time at SWC is the NSTA conference that we attended during summer of 2022. It was a great time where we could bond together as a group while learning about other teachers’ methods and strategies of how to teach science. In addition, we got the chance to present our database and officially offer it to the world. It is an experience that I’m sure to recall many years into the future. 

As the SWC database is open to the public and not just students or staff members of the university, I will definitely be using this as a means to craft my future lessons plans regarding sustainability and science as a whole. Knowing that science is fading from the realistic classroom schedule, I think it is important for me to gather resources and ideas I have now rather than rush them all in the future. 

As the semester is shifting into the final stage, I hope to work on my own resources that I would like to keep for the future and spend time with my group members.

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