STEM Education in the Bayous of LouisianaBy Diana Wehrell-Grabowski on December 16, 2013 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, Teacher Training Workshops
Just back from conducting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teacher training in the bayous of Louisiana for 2nd Grade teachers. During the two-day STEM teacher training workshop teachers were introduced to STEM education philosophy and practices with emphasis placed on: the engineering design process, critical thinking, inquiry-based teaching and learning, and reflective journaling in the classroom. Teachers conducted hands-on-minds-on investigations to explore the following concepts:
Nature of matter aka materials science. Teachers observed and analyzed building and packaging materials;
STEM walks to explore a wide-array of concepts including: materials science, living and non-living concepts, using technological tools such as pH meters, digital thermometers etc. during STEM walks;
Building with brick kits, and learning how to make bricks using Quikrete and silicon ice cube trays as well as creating water soluble mortar to use with the bricks;
Exploring light and sound concepts; and
Exploring how living organisms interact with their environment.
As usual, I really enjoyed working with this group of teachers. They were eager to embrace STEM education practices and content and could see how STEM practices and content will indeed help to prepare students for the 21st Century. The teachers left the training excited to implement STEM education practices and content as soon as possible with their students. The following photos are a sample of the hands-on-minds-on STEM investigations the teachers conducted during the training.