Frequently Asked Questions


Questions ...

Can I use your lessons in my classroom?
What is your educational background?
How long have you taught and what subjects do you currently teach?
What professional organizations do you belong to?
What is your educational philosophy?
What teaching awards have you won?
What program do you use for your website?
Who pays for your website?
What web-hosting service do you use?
How often do you check the links on your website?
What do you like to do when you find some free time?

Can I use your lessons in my classroom?
Activities, lessons, & worksheets available on any page of my web site are intended for use by a single teacher in his/her classroom or to share at educational conferences. Feel free to copy the worksheets to use with your students or share with another teacher in your school.

If you do use my worksheets, please follow these guidelines:
(1) You can not sell these lessons individually or as a package.
(2) You must cite the lesson's original source. Do not whiteout the copyright footer with my name, date, website address, or other information.  Do not claim my lessons or other materials as your own work.
(3)  You cannot download the lessons and save them on your own servers or websites.  Please provide links to the resources that are available on my domain - the links should begin with http://sciencespot.net/.

NOTE:  I was notified that some of my lessons are available on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I do not have an account with them and my lessons are always free.  If you find any of my lessons on TPT, please use my contact form to let me know. 

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What is your teaching background?
I graduated from Lewistown High School located in Fulton County, Illinois. In 1990, I earned my BS in Math and Science Education from Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois and completed my Master's Degree at Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois, in May of 2012. I have been involved with many professional development programs, including the Student Assistance Program, Standards-Aligned Classroom Program, Area III Technology Grant, and the GPS2GIS program. Visit my LinkedIn page for more details!

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How long have you taught and what subjects do you currently teach?
My teaching career started in 1990 as a math and science teacher at Havana Junior High located in Havana, Illinois. Our school, one of three buildings in our district, has an average enrollment of 400 students in grades 5th - 8th. During my career, I have taught technology skills classes for 5th-8th students as well as a Forensic Science class for 8th graders along with 7th & 8th grade Integrated Science classes.

I am the sponsor of the Havana Junior High Science Club, Scholastic Bowl coach, and coordinator for the Havana Nature Center. I have also been an officer (currently serving as our local's president) for the Havana Federation of Teachers. I am currently serving as our district's Technology Integration Mentor and am the junior high technology coordinator.  In 2010 I sponsored the creation of the iDuck Network, a news network that provides biweekly newscasts created by the students for the parents and community.

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What professional organizations do you belong to?
National Science Teacher's Association
Havana Federation of Teachers, Illinois Federation of Teachers, and American Federation of Teachers
Alpha Delta Kappa (Illinois - Beta Chapter)

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What is your educational philosophy?
My classroom lessons and activities are created around the belief that children learn best by doing. Limiting science instruction to textbook readings and lectures limits the opportunities for learning. I choose to go beyond the traditional science classrooms of my past and provide a dynamic and engaging classroom environment focused on students. Whether a single lesson on metamorphosis or a unit devoted to geology, students have the opportunity to construct their own understanding of science topics through hands-on lessons, independent investigations, and engaging experiments. My classroom environment encourages students to take the lead in their learning and accomplish much more than could ever be possible from a textbook and lecture format. I choose to be the navigator guiding students through the learning process, rather than being the process itself. By providing the support and encouragement my students need to make their way down the learning path, they move from being dependent on the instructor for information to being the seeker of knowledge. Numerous activities provide the basic knowledge to preface learning, while extension activities allow many paths for the learning process itself. A few students will follow a simple path from question to result; others will choose an elaborate means to their end. Regardless of their chosen path, every child will learn during their time with me and build a foundation of knowledge from which to build in high school and beyond.

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What teaching awards have you won?
2008 Maurice G. Kellogg Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, Western Illinois University
Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, State Finalist 2003
Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, State Finalist 1998
Those Who Excel, State of Illinois Teacher of the Year Finalist 1999
2000 Conservation Teacher of the Year, Mason County, Illinois
Kids First 2000, Havana Optimist Club

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What program do you use for your website?
I use Expressions Web 3 on my Dell computer to create and manage my website.

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Who pays for your website?
I pay for the costs for server space and my domain name registration fee. I run advertisements on my site through Sovrn and the Google AdSense program, which helps to pay the costs associated with the site. I do not charge for the use of any of the online worksheets or other webpages.

NOTE:  Donations are appreciated; however, I would prefer for you to share my website with your fellow teachers and other science teachers you meet at workshops and conferences!  Use my contact form if you have any questions.

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What web-hosting service do you use?
My website is hosted through Esosoft. They offer a basic webhosting package for a reasonable cost as well as domain name registration services. If you are looking for a great company to host your website, take time to visit their website.

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How often do you check the links on your website?
I usually check links every month using LinkAlarm. LinkAlarm does all the work and sends me an e-mail with the results.  With the everchanging nature of the Internet, URLs change or websites are removed every day making it difficult to keep up with the changes! If you find a broken link, please use my contact form to send me an e-mail so I can fix it.

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What do you like to do when you find some free time?
Besides hanging out with my family, I love to read, hunt, fish, garden, and learn new things on my tech toys.   I enjoy watching my favorite shows on The Travel Channel or the Discovery Channel. I also love to travel and enjoy visiting Estes Park, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Hanna Park, Jacksonville, Florida.  One of my favorite trips was visiting Hawaii with my best friend, Missy, to celebrate our 40th birthdays! 

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Privacy Policy
The Science Spot was developed in March 1999 by Tracy (Trimpe) Tomm
 8th Grade Science Teacher @ Havana Junior High, Havana, IL

Activities, lessons, & worksheets available on any page of this web site are intended for use by a single teacher in his/her classroom or to share at
educational conferences. Please link to resources rather than download them to your own server/website. Reproduction for commercial use or profit is not
permitted without the consent of
Tracy (Trimpe) Tomm. Visit my Frequently Asked Questions page for more details.