Just back from conducting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teacher training workshops at the 2011 21st Century 4th Annual Institute hosted by Washington State Department of Education. I conducted two separate teacher training sessions during the conference. The first session titled :STEM On A Shoestring Budget. During this session teachers were introduced to low-cost inquiry-based STEM explorations that can be conducted with ease during their after school science programs and/or in the regular classroom setting. The second session was a three hour workshop titled: Developing Critical Thinking Skills via Exploring STEM Concepts.” During both workshops teachers were actively engaged in exploring hands-on-minds-on inquiry-based STEM explorations. Many of the STEM explorations introduced during the sessions can be expanded into project-based explorations such as designing, building and testing of parachutes, and building structures with simple materials. I enjoyed meeting all the teachers who attended my teacher training workshops, as well as the staff members responsible for organizing the conference. Great group of individuals who will share their knowledge with the students of Washington.
Archive for June, 2011
I had the pleasure of presenting a day-long teacher training workshop for 23 middle and high school math and science teachers. Teachers were introduced to science, technology, engineering, and math explorations through hands-on-minds-on investigations. We began the teacher training workshop by exploring patterns and shapes in nature, emphasizing the importance of structure and function in the STEM fields. Teachers investigated: geometry concepts making connections to engineering concepts; polymer science, bridge building, and analyzed a variety of toys to determine how they operate and their internal components. I’ve been hired by numerous school districts and schools nationwide to conduct this workshop. I’ve designed the workshop to make teachers “think outside of the box.” Sometimes stepping outside their comfort zone. Unfortunately, many educators feel they do not have the time to teach critical thinking skills via hands-on investigations. They are locked into covering specific content material, within designated time frames often leaving little time for providing students with the opportunity to really explore science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts via an inquiry-based approach. Thanks to the Mabank ISD for having me come out to Texas to conduct STEM training. Once again, a great group of teachers.