The 21st CCLC program provides federal funding for the establishment of community learning centers that provide academic, artistic and cultural enrichment opportunities for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools, in order to meet state and local standards in core academic areas. This past week I had the opportunity to provide science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teacher training to middle through high school 21st CCLC Staff in Kentucky. It was a short 3 hour afternoon session but it was impactful.
During the three hour training 21st CCLC Staff were immersed in STEM via conducting inquiry-based STEM investigations. Investigations included: exploring super absorbing polymers, designing, building and testing paper-based roller coasters, and we finished off the session with an introduction to reverse engineering. Attendees also had the opportunity to use some affordable technology such as: eye loupes, digital calipers, balances and levels. They were also introduced to many STEM-based literature resources for middle through high school students.
Even though it was a short session I truly believe the 90 attendees gained a great deal of first-hand experience with designing STEM lessons, and building an afterschool program that develops and strengthens 21st century skills. For more information about the STEM, NGSS and Science teacher training workshops and interactive keynotes Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski conducts year-round, world-wide, complete the contact page found on this site.
The following photos are a sampling of the STEM-based investigations the 21st CCLC Staff conducted during the training.