Posts Tagged ‘chemistry experiments’


6th Grade Physical Science Teachers Explore STEM Concepts

on September 19, 2013 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education Comments Off on 6th Grade Physical Science Teachers Explore STEM Concepts

Had the pleasure of introducing STEM philosophy and content to a small group of sixth grade Physical Science teachers recently. Teachers were introduced to the foundation of STEM education via hands-on-minds-on, inquiry-based investigations. I began the workshop with having teachers discuss the process of thinking critically, and how to go about designing lessons and a STEM classroom environment that promotes critical thinking. The use of reflective journaling was introduced, which surpasses the “traditional” teacher driven science notebook. Reflective journals are “student driven” helping to develop and strengthen the 4C’s of STEM education: critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. We then proceeded to go outside for a STEM Walk that focused on materials science. So instead of covering nature of matter, states of matter, phase changes etc. through “traditional” hands-on science “cookbook” oriented lessons. The teachers went outside to observe states of matter, phase changes etc.. occurring in nature and in man-made structures. Instead of talking about rust, go outside and look for examples of rust in buildings, cars, etc. Teachers used scientific tools while outside including: levels, eye loupes, rulers, collected specimens, and wrote observations in their journals. During the two-day physical science-based STEM teacher training teachers were introduced to integrating technology into their lessons by using digital-based tools including: digital microscopes, digital calipers, and digital balances. Teachers conducted hands-on-minds-on, inquiry-based investigations to explore the following physical science-based concepts:

Nature of Matter, Chemical and Physical Changes, Behavior of Light, Force, Motion and Energy concepts. The two day training concluded with teachers conducting hands-on investigations to explore solar energy. The following photos are representative of the STEM investigations undertaken during the two day teacher training workshop.

STEM teacher training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-GrabowskiSTEM teacher training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-GrabowskiSTEM teacher training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-GrabowskiSTEM teacher training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-GrabowskiSTEM teacher training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-GrabowskiSTEM teacher training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-GrabowskiSTEM teacher training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-GrabowskiSTEM teacher training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-GrabowskiSTEM teacher training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-GrabowskiSTEM teacher training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-GrabowskiSTEM teacher training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-GrabowskiSTEM teacher training by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski

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.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB2O4poj-zM

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