William Floyd High School chemistry teacher Martin Palermo has authored the featured article in the May edition of Chemistry Solutions, an online periodical for K-12 chemistry teachers published by the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT). The article, “Using Learning Progressions to Improve Scientific Modeling in Chemistry,” focuses on using learning progressions to transform existing modeling activities to help students construct and use models as a tool for predicting and explaining phenomena.
“As a teacher, these learning progressions can be used as a guide or pathway to develop lessons that engage one’s students in successively more sophisticated levels of engagement in and knowledge of scientific modeling practices,” wrote Mr. Palermo, in the article. “I have observed students becoming more comfortable with the process of constructing and utilizing models in the classroom. I began by making simple changes to my current activities to help students develop modeling skills and understanding, and then gradually added additional tasks to progress them up the learning progression scales.”
Mr. Palermo has been a teacher at William Floyd High School for the past 12 years, four as a Living Environment teacher and the past eight teaching Regents/Honors chemistry. He was selected as a New York State Master Teacher in 2015, one of five from William Floyd and only 70 for the Long Island region. In 2016, he received the Stony Brook University “40 Under Forty” award for “demonstrating achievements in education as well as exemplifying the spirit of Stony Brook University,” his alma mater.
Past awards for Mr. Palermo include the Suffolk ASSET (Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technologies) “Bright Light Award” for technology integration in the classroom and a Stony Brook University “Campus Life Award” for his commitment to promoting student success through teaching at Stony Brook, where he has previously served as an adjunct professor in undergraduate biology (anatomy and physiology).
Mr. Palermo also serves in a leadership position for the Long Island Association for Chemistry Teacher Support (LIACTS) at Stony Brook, in which 10 NYS Master Teachers share best practices, pedagogical techniques and current chemistry topics while working to facilitate collaboration of chemistry teachers across Long Island. Fellow William Floyd High School chemistry teacher and NYS Master Teacher Kristen Drury co-founded the organization in 2014. Ms. Drury has also been published in Chemistry Solutions.
Mr. Palermo is a graduate of Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Arts in Teaching. He is currently pursuing a PhD in chemical education at Stony Brook University.