Archive for April, 2016


White House Leading the Efforts in Early Active STEM Learning

on April 25, 2016 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education Comments Off on White House Leading the Efforts in Early Active STEM Learning

Excited to see that the White House, and a number of educational-based corporations are promoting incorporating science, technology, STEM teacher training for early childhood educatorsengineering, and math (STEM) experiences in the early childhood classroom. It’s never too early to introduce young children to STEM practices and content. Children are born curious, they are natural scientists and engineers. Likewise, early childhood educators are already providing STEM experiences in the classroom via Block Centers, and beyond. The following article provides additional details of the national effort to promote STEM in early childhood classrooms. The national effort is also known as “Early Active STEM Learning”.

I have been conducting STEM professional staff development training for early childhood educators and beyond for 10 years. The teachers are always receptive to incorporating STEM experiences in the early childhood classroom, they have definitely seen the power of a STEM environment. Providing a “true” STEM environment and content often requires a paradigm shift in how teachers think, and deliver their lessons. One has to learn how to become the facilitator vs. the lecturer. Develop a classroom environment that is student-driven vs. teacher driven, one that will empower the child, and provide them with opportunities to create, think critically, communicate and collaborate with their peers.

The following video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpdilpF-ey4 is from one of the many early childhood STEM-based teacher training workshops I have conducted over the years. It’s apparent that the teachers are engaged, motivated, enlightened, and have embraced STEM.

Bringing it back to the classroom the following video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HglYz0h2n2E is from a STEM-based session I conducted in one of the preschools I visit on a monthly basis. You can see STEM practices and content being explored by young children.

To schedule a STEM or STEAM-based teacher training session contact Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski via the contact page on this site.

 

I’m a believer in sustainable, quality, on-going professional staff development for educators. When a school district or individual school provides opportunities for its staff to receive on-going, follow-up training this allows educators to build upon prior knowledge, to go deeper into content, to gain new ideas, and be energized all over again. The Calcasieu Parish Public School District has obtained funds to support in-depth STEM training for a Team of STEM leaders, and their peers as well as provide them with STEM materials and equipment. I was elated to provide a follow-up STEM training to the STEM leadership group and their team members. During the first session teachers were introduced to the foundational principles of STEM practices, as well as having the opportunity to undertake STEM challenges incorporating the Engineering Design Process. Providing the teachers with opportunities to see first hand how incorporating quality and meaningful STEM experiences will help to develop and strengthen 21st century skills in their students. The following photos were taken during the follow-up session (session 2). We began the session by conducting investigations to explore biomimicry. By incorporating biomimicry lessons within the STEM classroom students will have the opportunity to analyze how nature solves problems, and perhaps mimic their methods in innovating new designs or systems to solve problems. We then proceeded to explore alternative energy sources (solar energy), teachers used solar cells to operate buzzers, light bulbs etc. They then went onto deconstruct a Dollar Tree Solar Dancer, getting experience with reverse engineering and mechanical engineering. The session concluded with an engineering challenge to design, construct, and test a prototype of prosthetic hand using readily and recyclable materials. The challenge was to build a hand that resembled a human hand, with movable phalanges as well. As always it was my pleasure to meet such a great group of educators who have embraced STEM. The following photos were taken during the one-day follow-up session. For more information about the STEM, NGSS, and keynotes Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski provides worldwide complete the contact form on the contact page.

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