Archive for January, 2013


All Kindergarten and First Grade teachers of Lafourche Parish School District in Louisiana are being introduced to STEM explorations during a two-day teacher training workshop over a five-month period. Teachers are introduced to STEM philosophy and concepts via conducting hands-on-minds-on investigations. All investigations are inquiry-based, incorporate the Engineering Design Process, make connections to Louisiana Science and Math Standards, The Next Generation Science Standards, as well as connect to the Common Core. Teachers implement the Engineering Design Process as they conduct investigations to explore: structure and function, patterns, geometry concepts applied to man-made and natural structures, floating and sinking, and they use toys and musical instruments to explore force, motion and energy concepts. The teachers have really enjoyed the STEM teacher training sessions, and are eager to implement STEM investigations within their elementary classrooms. Check out the photos below depicting some of the hands-on-minds-on inquiry-based STEM investigations teachers conducted during the two-day STEM teacher training workshop conducted by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski.

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Teachers build 3-D structures using readily available materials during STEM teacher training workshop. Teachers build 3-D structures using readily available materials during STEM teacher training workshop.

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STEM teacher training workshop by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski IMG_3271

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Forty-elementary teachers started off the 2013 school year by attending an all day hands-on-minds-on STEM teacher training workshop. Teachers were introduced to numerous STEM practices and concepts, and the use of reflective journaling in the STEM classroom. Teachers were actively engaged in exploring STEM concepts including: structure and function, architectural design, bridge design, reverse engineering, and more. If teachers are excited about designing, constructing, and testing, imagine how excited the students will be to explore STEM concepts with their peers? As always it’s a pleasure to work with teachers who are willing to think outside of the box, and not rely solely on their standardized curriculum.

Designing and testing bridges during STEM teacher training workshops. Comparing and contrasting the strength of squares and triangles during STEM teacher training workshop. Bridge building during STEM teacher training workshop Teachers build large structures from rods and spheres. IMG_3157 Teachers explore architectural design during STEM teacher training workshop Teachers explore engineering and architectural principals using wooden blocks. Reflective journaling in the STEM classroom. Making rubbings of geometric shapes during STEM teacher training. IMG_3118 Teachers observe patterns and shapes in nature and man-made objects during STEM teacher training workshop. Observing structure and function in man-made objects. Reflective journaling in the STEM classroom. Teachers are introduced to reflective journaling during STEM teacher training workshop. Reflective journaling in the STEM classroom. Teachers observe shapes, patterns, and structures in the schoolyard during STEM teacher training workshop. Reflective journaling in the STEM classroom. Reflective journaling in the STEM classroom. Observing structure and function in man-made objects during STEM teachertraining workshop. IMG_3144 Reflective journaling in the STEM classroom. Reflective journaling in the STEM classroom IMG_3149

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