I had conducted several days of STEM training to the K-5 teachers of Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy at Ben Milam Elementary summer of 2013. I was glad to visit the Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy this week to provide follow-up STEM teacher training to the staff. The staff continued to journal about their STEM experiences via reflective journals. Time was spent reinforcing STEM practices via the teachers conducting STEM investigations via an inquiry-based process. Additionally, developing critical thinking skills and incorporating the engineering design process were integral components of the STEM training. During lunch break, I had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Robert Girgis, the STEM Teacher for the Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy on what STEM investigations are taking place within the STEM lab. What a motivated, and dedicated teacher who I believe is providing inspiration to the entire K-5 staff, and students of Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy. The following photos were taken during the training. Additional photos of Mr. Girgis’s STEM Lab Centers including hydroponics, ecosystems, growing crystals, and more. To check out the Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy at Ben Milam Elementary website click here.
Archive for February, 2014
I always encourage my clients whenever possible to offer on-going professional development for their teachers. One day workshops once a year, does not cut it. Just finished conducting one-day follow-up sessions for high school Biology and Physical Science teachers who had attended previous STEM training sessions from me. I requested that each of the teachers present an overview of a STEM lesson they had conducted with their students. It was a great learning experience for everyone, for teachers to hear and see what STEM investigations their peers hand incorporated within their own classrooms. In addition to the teacher presentations, I introduced teachers to several new Biology and Physical Science-based STEM investigations. The teachers are really excited about STEM, and see the merit in incorporating STEM practices within their classrooms. However, what I do continue to observe and hear is the teachers frustrations with the excessive emphasis placed on testing, and cramming too much information into a school year. Once again it was a great group of teachers, I look forward to working with these teachers again next school year.