Archive for August, 2013

100 K-8 Teachers Explore STEM Practices and Content During Teacher Training Workshop

on August 31, 2013 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, Teacher Training Workshops Comments Off on 100 K-8 Teachers Explore STEM Practices and Content During Teacher Training Workshop

I had the pleasure of introducing 100 K-8 teachers  to STEM practices and content during a STEM teacher training workshop. The workshopphoto STEM Teacher Training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski was held at Alhuda Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts. The workshop was hosted by NEASC. We began the training by discussing what STEM is focusing on the Engineering Design Process, Critical Thinking, and Inquiry-Based teaching and learning. Teachers then went on a STEM walk around the campus to observe patterns and shapes in nature and in man-made designs. This is a foundational concept of STEM education making connections to structure and function which is applied to all types of engineering and science disciplines. Teachers also conducted investigations to explore materials science concepts, and force, motion, and energy concepts. It was a fantastic group of teachers who I’m truly grateful that I had the pleasure of sharing my knowledge and passion for STEM education. I am certain that the teachers in attendance were transformed, and will indeed implement STEM practices and investigations within their K-8 classrooms.

Last Saturday I spent the day introducing close to 60 Early Childhood teachers from Smart Start Centers in San Jose, California to STEM#STEMTEACHERTRAINING education practices and content. What a fantastic day it was. We started off the day discussing how STEM investigations make perfect sense to incorporate into the early childhood classroom, and actually many early childhood teachers are already implementing STEM content in block building and construction centers. Teachers were then introduced to reflective journaling at the early childhood level, we progressed outside to explore patterns and shapes in nature and in man-made designs on the beautiful campus of the University of San Jose. We spent about 30 minutes outside making observations, drawing, making rubbings, collecting specimens, using a variety of technological devices such as Nabi Jr, Leap Frog Ultra Tablet, iPads, etc.. to take photos and videos of the STEM walk. We continued the session exploring the following concepts: building 3-D structures with common materials, materials science (think nature of matter), building with blocks, floating and sinking and more. Connecting early childhood literature to explore STEM concepts was integrated throughout the entire training. Iggy Peck the Architect, Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale, Architectural Shapes, were just a few of the books teachers incorporated into their hands-on explorations throughout the day. Throughout the day teachers were given time to write and draw in their STEM journals, and discuss with their peers the actual implementation of STEM philosophy (Engineering Design Process, the 4C’s) within their own early childhood classrooms. As the session closed, teachers left with arms full of 3-D structures, models, specimens, their STEM journals, and most important, transformed. I look forward to seeing the innovative STEM explorations that will be incorporated into the Smart Start classrooms in San Jose, California this coming school year. A big thank you goes out to the all the staff of Smart Start, San Jose for organizing my visit too.

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