Posts Tagged ‘fisher price code a pillar’


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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I had the pleasure of being one of the presenters at the K-12 Media Specialist STEM Maker-Mini Conference held in Brevard County, Florida this past December. The conference was sponsored and hosted by the Brevard County School Board. Approximately 100 K-12 Media Specialists attended the day-long Maker conference held at the Florida Solar Energy Center. I was asked by the Brevard County School District Media Specialist Division Head to share STEM and Makerspace investigations, materials and equipment. Media Specialists attended a wide-array of STEM and Makerspace mini workshops throughout the day. I had set-up 8 tables that were packed full of STEM and Makerspace materials, supplies and equipment. In addition, I had numerous hands-on STEM and Makerspace explorations Media Specialists were able to conduct as they browsed my displays. During the day-long session I was able to introduce close to 100 Media Specialists to STEM and Makerspace investigations that can easily be conducted within library space. Additionally, I had a wide-array of STEM and Makerspace materials and equipment often seen in school and library STEM labs and Makerspaces. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) had just published their award winning STEM K-12 literature in November, and I had all the newly selected STEM children’s literature that had been selected for recommended K-12 STEM literature. The Media Specialists were eager to thumb through the titles, taking pictures of the book covers etc., often ordering the books on the spot via Amazon.

I had also just purchased several new technology-based STEM and Makerspace materials and kits including: MC2 Circuit Beats which is very similar to the Makey Makey. MC2 Circuit Beats kit appears to be geared for girls with a pink headband you wear that omits the electronic beats you create with the MC2 Circuit Beats. The Media Specialists really liked this kit, and I give it the thumbs up as well. Very well-built and versatile, incorporating technology and allowing for creativity. Another new item I had just purchased, and had on display was the Fisher Price Code-A-Pillar, this is a very well-made battery operated caterpillar with interlocking pieces that introduces young children to coding. The Media Specialists enjoyed working with the Fisher Price Code-A-Pillar, I give it a thumbs up for sure. I’ll definitely be introducing the Code-A-Pillar during all my future early childhood STEM teacher training workshops. In addition to the Code-A-Pillar I had the Code and Go Mouse Activity Set by Learning Resources for the Media Specialists to try out. The Code and Go Mouse is another introductory coding toy. Conference attendees enjoyed using the Coding Mouse as well.

Also on display were lilBits, Makey Makey, Squishy Circuits, Circuit Scribe, and mini quadcopters. There was a wide -array of digital mathematical and scientific tools on display which are great additions to the STEM and Makerspace Labs including: digital calipers, digital scales, mini illuminated microscopes, digital microscopes and more. I also had a Ozzo Bot, Wonder and Dash Robot, and Sphero for the Media Specialists to observe and try out.

I had an array of STEM and Makerspace explorations for the Media Specialists to try out including: building 3 dimensional shapes, building with recyclable and readily available materials, building kits, reverse engineering, a tinkering section and more.

Libraries across the nation and world are transforming their spaces by adding STEM and Makerspace Labs and/or developing mobile STEM and Maker carts. I was told numerous times by the Media Specialists in attendance how excited they were to go back to their school sites and evaluate how they could transform existing spaces into STEM and Makerspaces. Media Specialists and Librarians have the opportunity to help transform our educational system by providing spaces, materials, and opportunities for students to explore STEM fields, and experience the Maker Mindset. The following photos were taken during the day-long STEM and Maker Ed Conference. For more information about the K-12 STEM and Maker Education teacher and Media Specialist training I offer nation-wide contact me via the contact page.

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STEM and Makerspace Training for teachers and media specialists by dr diana wehrell-grabowski

 

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