Kindergarten and First-grade teachers were introduced to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts during a two-day teacher training workshop I conducted recently in Louisiana. We started off the two-day inquiry-based STEM training by discussing STEM philosophy, critical thinking in the classroom, reflective journaling, and the engineering design process. Teachers conducted numerous hands-on-minds-on inquiry-based STEM investigations throughout the two-day session. A key component of my STEM trainings are spent on conveying the need for teachers to design STEM investigations that are student-driven versus teacher driven. It’s not easy for teachers to release control of the classroom, especially at the Kindergarten and First-Grade level. However, the implementation of student-driven STEM investigations is a natural for the primary level classrooms. Teachers were introduced to the following concepts during the two-day teacher training session:

  • Stem philosophy and practices;
  • Critical thinking in the STEM classroom;
  • Designing and implementing student driven vs. teacher driven STEM investigations;
  • Reflective journaling in the STEM classroom;
  • Identifying patterns and shapes in nature and man-made structures;
  • Building 2 and 3-D structures with simple materials;
  • Floating and sinking;
  • Boat building and testing;
  • Architectural engineering concepts;
  • Blocks in the STEM classroom;
  • Designing and building self-sustaining ecosystems to house backyard invertebrates;
  • Reverse engineering;
  • and Ramp science.

The photos below will give you a bird’s eye-view of how engaged teachers were during the two-day STEM teacher training session. Once again, it was a great group of teachers who left motivated and ready to implement STEM investigations within their own classrooms.