Can you imagine 80 parents of middle-school girls partaking in exciting hands-on-minds-on STEM investigations with their peers? Well check out the video below it includes highlights of the two investigations parents took part in during a STEM workshop I presented at the Expanding Your Horizons Conference held at UCF in February of this year. Parents conducted investigations with super-absorbing polymers, and also took part in the Marshmallow Challenge. I have found the Marshmallow Challenge to be an excellent exercise to use during STEM workshops. Participants must use critical thinking skills, collaborate and communicate with group members if they are to succeed in building the tallest free-standing structure in 18 minutes with only 20 spaghetti sticks, one yard of string, one yard of tape, and one large marshmallow. The parents had a fantastic time, and so did I.
Posts Tagged ‘chemistry experiments’
Just back from conducting teacher training in Bangkok, Thailand. As always I’m delighted to share my enthusiasm for science, and likewise learning from those teachers I have the pleasure of meeting during the training sessions. The video below are short clips from a workshop I conducted for middle through high school teachers entitled “Developing Critical Thinking Skills via Incorporating Inquiry-Based Science Investigations”. We begin the workshop by discussing what characterizes critical thinking skills, and how the teachers go about promoting critical thinking skills within their classrooms. Teachers then proceed to conduct several hands-on-minds-on investigations that involve asking higher-order questions, making detailed observations, collecting data, and recording information via reflective journaling. During this particular workshop teachers explored super-absorbing polymers, biomimicry, solar energy, ecosystems, and chemical reactions. Investigations are introduced to the teachers via an inquiry-based format, requiring the participants to discover, question, design, and conduct the investigations on their own with minimal guidance from the instructor. As usual it was a great group of teachers, with great minds willing to think “outside of the box”.