Priscilla Spears developed a love of science very early in her life, and followed that love through her high school years, when she worked on the science project that gained her a college scholarship. She earned a B.S. degree in biology from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and then a Ph. D. in microbiology from Colorado State University. Motherhood brought a different perspective from that of the narrowly focused laboratory, and she became interested in science education. In 1997 Priscilla formed Big Picture Science to market her first product, a poster depicting the Five Kingdom classification. (And if you still own one of those posters, she recommends that make it a part of your history-of-science materials.) She has delighted in becoming a science generalist, and creating learning materials for all areas of science.
Through her children's Montessori classrooms, Priscilla saw the need to support teachers with current science information. During a year of teaching a private class in high school biology, she saw that teachers seldom have the time that is needed to research current information. With the dynamic nature of science, change is necessary, and life science classification is one area that has changed greatly since 1997. She published "Big Picture Science Newsletter" from 1997-2002, and some of those newsletters are still useful. They are available as free downloads and are listed with other products. Select the "downloads" tab.
The mission of Big Picture Science is to provide current science information and develop necessary new learning materials to go with it. Priscilla's books support and enhance teacher science literacy. Her materials include extensive botany, part of her efforts to combat plant blindness, a rampant condition in today's world, where few people have direct contact with growing plants in their everyday lives. Although her materials are aimed at the Montessori classroom, they are useful in many other settings, including general adult education.
Priscilla has presented workshops for the past 15 years, speaking at national conferences of the American Montessori Society, the former National Center for Montessori Education, and the Montessori Foundation. In the summer of 2013, she presented a workshop at the International Montessori Congress in Portland, Oregon. She is available for continuing teacher education workshops - see the workshops page. She participates in elementary Montessori teacher education.
Priscilla has been the science consultant for InPrint for Children since 1998. She helped develop the elementary life science and physical science materials that Carolyn Jones, the owner of InPrint for Children, designs and produces so beautifully and carefully. Several of the InPrint for Children materials that Priscilla helped design are available on the Big Picture Science website. Priscilla has helped several other publishers of Montessori materials with the content of selected items, and she is available for consulting on a limited basis.
The Big Picture Science team includes John and Christine Erwin of Evergreen Online Solutions, who do the order fulfillment for printed materials from Colorado. Priscilla creates her materials from her home in Corvallis, Oregon.
You may email your comments, suggestions, questions, or just say "Hi" at info (at) bigpicturescience (dot) biz.