William C. Ritz, Professor Emeritus of Science Education at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), has been active in science teaching and science teacher education all his professional life. He taught science for 15 years in the public schools of Western New York state, then spent four years with the Eastern Regional Institute for Education as an elementary science consultant in classrooms throughout New York and Pennsylvania. Bill also served as Director of the Environmental Studies Institute at Syracuse University, before moving to California.
Among his activities as founding Chair of the Department of Science Education at CSULB, he directed such funded projects as Young Scholar’s Ocean Science Institute, the Project to Improve Methods Courses in Elementary Science, Project MOST: Minority Opportunities in Science Teaching, and A Head Start on Science. Throughout, Bill has remained actively involved in NSTA and other national and state professional science education organizations. A 1966 Fellow of the Science Teachers Association of New York State, Bill was recently named recipient of the 2009 Margaret Nicholson Award of the California Science Teachers Association for distinguished service to science education. His column, “Science for Young Explorers,” appears regularly in Children and Families, the magazine of the National Head Start Association. Bill’s best-selling book, A Head Start on Science: Encouraging a Sense of Wonder, which also won a 2008 Association of Education Publishers Distinguished Achievement Award, has recently been translated into Chinese.
Professional Development Sessions
Bill's workshops engage participants in hands-on activities that rekindle their own sense of wonder and encourage teachers and parents to bring the joys and understanding of developmentally appropriate "sciencing" to young learners. The sessions also emphasize connections between science and language development, as well as the many links between science and math, art, and reading.
Some of Bill’s recent workshops and presentations include
- A Head Start on Science–A Sense of Wonder Science for Young Learners and their Teachers
- Encouraging Wonder through Science—A Hands-On Inquiry Approach
- Pre-School Science and Early Literacy Development