Archive for the ‘Teacher Training Workshops’ Category


Had the pleasure of being part of the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota 2017 Conference in January. I presented two 1.5 hour STEM-based sessions. Early STEM Education Consultant Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowskichildhood teachers were introduced to STEM practices and content via conducting hands-on-minds-on, inquiry-based explorations.

There was plenty of room to explore, build, and move about with the workshops being held in the cafeteria. Ramps made out of insulation tubing, wood corner molding, upholstery tubing, string and tape were built from one end of the cafeteria to the other.

During the 1.5 hour session early childhood teachers were introduced to incorporating journaling in the early childhood classroom. I stressed the need to avoid the “typical” handouts of cut outs, tracing, and pasting. Instead, provide opportunities for children to do their own scribbling, attach specimens within their journals, and more. This journal is meaningful to the student, and is all about student-ownership.

Teachers had the opportunity to use recyclable and readily available materials to build 3-D structures of their choice. Working in small groups mini-playgrounds, homes, bridges and more were built.

Teachers were also introduced to incorporating a “tinkering” center within their classroom where young children can touch, observe, analyze, and take things apart. If possible, even try and put the objects back together. The process of tinkering is the foundation of creating young engineers. We all know the relative that took everything apart, tinkered and such they went onto become an engineer.

With the emphasis on incorporating STEM experiences in the early childhood classroom and beyond, many children’s authors have written well-crafted STEM-based books appropriate for the early childhood classroom +. Teachers were introduced to approximately 50 children’s books with STEM themes, a couple of my favorites “Iggy Peck the Architect” and the “Three Little Pigs, an Architectural Tale”.

Teachers were also introduced to incorporating appropriate technology for young learners. The “t” in STEM includes any tool a student puts in their hand to gather more data, and find out about the world around them. Teachers used levels, rulers, magnifying lenses, eye loupes, Fisher Price Code-A-Pillar, and more.

A major focus of the early childhood STEM workshop was to incorporate the 21st century skills within STEM lessons and across the curriculum. Teachers need to strive to develop lessons and a classroom environment that nurtures and strengthens 21st century skills which include: creativity and innovation, critical thinking and innovation, communication and collaboration.

As always it was a great session, teachers left the workshop motivated, and so many stated that they were going to be incorporating many of the STEM explorations and practices they had seen during the training within their classroom. As I’ve said before “it’s never to early to incorporate STEM experiences ” within the classroom.

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I had the pleasure of introducing early childhood educators of the Texas Panhandle to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) practices and content teacher training by dr diana wehrell grabowskiduring a day-long workshop. Teachers were introduced to STEM practices which include teaching via inquiry-based methods, project and problem-based learning, engineering design process, incorporating 21st century skills, incorporating technology, and more.

We started off the session with focusing on the basic foundational principles of STEM which include: striving to develop a student-driven classroom, teaching via inquiry-based practices, incorporating 21st century skills, and developing STEM lessons that make connections among all 4 disciplines, as well as incorporating the engineering design process, incorporating children’s literature and more.

Young children are natural born scientists and engineers thus, incorporating STEM explorations in the early childhood classroom makes perfect sense. It’s never too early to incorporate opportunities for young children to explore the STEM disciplines and careers.

Teachers were actively engaged in conducting hands-on-minds-on inquiry-based STEM explorations which included: conducting mini engineering design challenges such as building structures with readily available materials (clothes pins, craft sticks, and binder clips), and building ramps with paper and insulation tubing. Additionally, teachers were introduced to a wide-array of meaningful technology that can be incorporated into the early childhood classroom such as: which included: magnifying lenses, digital microscopes, simple pan scales, levels, rulers, tape measures, magnets, tweezers, pipettes and more. Teachers were also introduced to a couple new coding learning toys that are on the market to introduce young children to the basics of coding. Two of the coding toys teachers were introduced included: Fisher Price Code-A-Pillar and Click and Go Mouse by Learning Resources. I give both of these introductory coding toys a thumbs up for a method of introducing young children to the “basics of coding skills”.

It was a great training session, the teachers had a wonderful time exploring STEM practices and content. I am certain that the attendees will be incorporating STEM experiences within their early childhood classroom shortly, as well as re-thinking some of their current teaching strategies. For more information about the science and STEM teacher training and interactive keynotes Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski provides nation and worldwide contact her via the contact page on this website. The following photos provide snippets of the STEM teacher training session for early childhood teachers.

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