About Norma Gentner
Author and Songwriter, Norma Gentner, has always had an adventurous spirit, which is not only reflected in her Songs of Science, but also in her own life. Having grown up on a small island just minutes from Niagara Falls, she had opportunities to explore its shores and wildlife, which inspired her passion for science. While researching two of her titles, Dig A Dinosaur and Munch, Munch, Munch, Norma spent a week in the Badlands of Montana on a paleo-dig and later visited the El Rosario Monarch Sanctuary southwest of Mexico City. Each encounter with the natural world left her with questions—questions that needed answers.
Norma’s writing career began as a series of serendipitous events when she was looking for a nonfiction song about bears to use with her kindergarten students. Knowing that music has a “Pied-Piper” effect, she began searching for a science song—one that would help students learn the content in a snap! There were so many facts just “lumbering” around in her head, and what happened next has always remained a mystery. Norma explains it this way: “I can’t seem to find words to describe the magical place where melodies are born. They seem to suddenly appear and wrap themselves perfectly around the words or ideas. I got so excited when the did you know part of my first songbook appeared that I found myself shouting the first few verses of Bear Facts all the way home!” That was the beginning of a literary career that now includes a dozen science songbooks and tapes for children— all published by the Wright Group.
As a teacher with 33 years of experience as an elementary, special education and enrichment teacher, Norma comes with the expertise and knowledge to guide both children and teachers in discovering answers to their questions. In recognition of this talent, Norma Gentner was honored as a finalist representing New York State in the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Award for Science and Mathematics Teaching in 1995 and 1997. She has also led students in achieving both Regional and National awards in Toshiba/NSTA’s Explorasvisionnational science competition.
The Appy-Bot – “The Painless Solution to Appendicitis”
Click on the Exploravision website below to view the 2nd place National Award-Winning website for “The Appy-Bot.”The Appy-Bot Website
So Where Has Norma Been?
- Paleontological Dig with the Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, Montana) – 1996
- Ecotourist Trip to Mexico to study the migrating Monarch butterflies – 1997
- In the districts of Sweet Home, Buffalo, Williamsville, Olean, Kenmore, Lockport and Middleport
- Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – New York State Finalist (1995, 1997)
- Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Award – Teacher/Coach of Regional Winning Teams (2002, 2003, 2005) – Teacher/Coach of Second Place National Winning Team (2005)
- National Science Trainer (K-2) for the program, Innovations in Science guiding participants (teachers) through a six-hour hands-on inquiry based workshop in Buffalo, Indianapolis, Madison, Minneapolis, Detroit and San Antonio.
- Consultant to Buffalo Public Schools’ Project Early Intervention, Early Literacy Program for Kindergarten teachers on how to plan an integrated day.
- SUNY Geneseo’s Summer Institute – 1994
- Lessons From Children (Buffalo, NY) – 1998
- University of Virginia’s College at Wise – 2000
- New York State Reading Association conferences – 1993, 1994
- CCIRA (Colorado Reading Association) – 1994
- Western New York Science Forum (University at Buffalo) – 1996
- Michigan State Reading Conference – 1996
- California Kindergarten Conference – 1996
- West Coast Literacy Conference – 1996
- State Librarian’s Conference (Buffalo, NY) – 1998
- WORD Conference (Richland, WA) – 2000
- Young Author’s Conference at St. Bonaventure (Olean, NY) – 2000
- Southwest Virginia Early Childhood Conference, Keynote Presentation – 2009