Posts Tagged ‘engineering design’


American Institute of Monterrery, Mexico Teachers Explore Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

on September 17, 2016 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, Teacher Training Workshops Comments Off on American Institute of Monterrery, Mexico Teachers Explore Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

I love to share my passion and knowledge for science, and especially when it provides me with the opportunity to travel abroad. This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to conduct Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) teacher training to K-5 teachers at The American Institute of Monterrey (AIM)  in Mexico. The American Institute of Monterrey has 3 campuses, within the Monterrey, Mexico area. I conducted NGSS training at two of three campuses this summer. AIM is a progressive educational institution, from the short time I was there it was quite evident that they are continually striving to provide the best educational experiences, and opportunities for their students. Likewise, the administration values the importance of providing their teaching staff with quality, sustainable professional staff development.

I am in total support of the NGSS, and see the NGSS as a way to truly transform education in the United States, and in countries which have adopted the new science standards. The two days of training were divided into grade levels (k-2 day one, and 3-5 on day two). During both days I began the session with providing teachers with an overview of the six conceptual shifts of the NGSS. I modeled inquiry-based teaching practices, teachers were actively engaged in the two days of training conducting inquiry-based NGSS investigations, providing them with a clear vision of what a NGSS lesson looks like.

Some of the NGSS investigations the teachers had the opportunity to conduct included: journaling, engineering design challenges, Squishy Circuits, littleBits, exploring force, motion, and energy through designing and building ramps, materials science, patterns and shapes, using the schoolyard to introduce and reinforce NGSS practices and content.

By the end of the sessions, it was evident that the teachers had a clearer vision of what the NGSS entail, as well as the power of the Next Generation Science Standards to transform education. On a worldwide note, for teachers to fully implement NGSS effectively and with ease it will take time, and a great deal of on-going professional staff development that is coherent, and purposeful. The Next Generation Science Standards require a paradigm shift not only in teachers and administrators but also in students, as well as their parents.

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I’ve already received emails from the administration that teachers are incorporating teaching practices and NGSS based lessons within their classrooms. This is indeed music to my ears. I look forward to returning to the American Institute of Monterrey, Mexico in the near future to observe the transformations within the classrooms. The following photos were taken during the two days of training. For more information about the NGSS, STEM, and Science teacher training workshops and keynotes I conduct worldwide complete the contact form on this website.

 

STEAM in the Early Years Interactive Keynote by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski

on November 5, 2015 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education Comments Off on STEAM in the Early Years Interactive Keynote by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski

I was elated when I was chosen to be the keynote speaker for the 2015 Eastern Sierra Child Development Conference. The theme for the annual conference was Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM). I’m excited when I see early childhood organizations with the vision to incorporate STEAM practices and content in the early years. Studies have documented that the earlier children are introduced to STEAM practices and content the more likely they will be to pursue careers in the STEAM field, as well as develop skills necessary to be productive citizens in the 21st Century. The conference was held on October 17th, 2016 in Ridgecrest, California. Being a believer in hands-on-minds-on, inquiry-based teaching and learning I delivered an interactive keynote to the 120 early childhood educators to introduce them to STEAM practices and content via an engaging experience. Participants were actively engaged in finding out what STEAM practices and content entail as they made observations, used simple tools, undertook engineering design challenges, conducted STEAM investigations, and communicated and collaborated with their peers. A big thank you to the Eastern Sierra Child Development Association for inviting me to be the keynote speaker, you were a great organization to work with. It was a pleasure to see a room full of motivated early childhood educators embracing STEAM education. A few photos from the interactive STEAM keynote are below.

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