The Joys of Presenting at Education ConferencesBy Diana Wehrell-Grabowski on July 26, 2012 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, Teacher Training Workshops, What Makes A Great Teacher?
Recently returned from presenting 3 hands-on-inquiry-based workshops during the Staff Development for Educators Differentiated Instruction Conference held in the neon jungle of Las Vegas, Nevada. Conferences are whirl-wind events with the teachers having to make tough decisions on what workshops to attend among the many offerings. I was elated to meet so many wonderful and highly-motivated teachers during my three sessions. During my first session “Exploring Physical Science Concepts” middle school teachers explored chemistry, force, motion, and energy concepts. During my second session K-3 grade teachers explored The Big Ideas in Science. Emphasis was placed on structure and function, and reflective writing. My last session was “Developing Critical Thinking Skills via Exploring STEM Concepts and Content” middle and high school teachers were introduced to the concept of biomimicry and geometry connections to STEM content. In all three sessions the students were actively engaged in exploring the concepts via hands-on-minds-on inquiry-based investigations. Participants designed and conducted numerous experiments with available materials, and then shared their ideas and conclusions with the entire group. Aside from conducting hands-on investigations I also introduced teachers to the importance of introducing reflective journaling in STEM and science classrooms. Once again, it was great to meet so many wonderful educators who make every attempt to enhance their careers by attending educational conferences throughout the year.