Developing Critical Thinking Skills via Exploring STEM ConceptsBy Diana Wehrell-Grabowski on June 26, 2011 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, Teacher Training Workshops
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.