Posts Tagged ‘hands on math’


To see parents and their children immersed in exploring science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) investigations does my heart good. I recently conducted a one hour engineering night for a local Title I elementary school. Approximately 100 K-5 students and their parents attended the event. I started off the evening with a brief overview of the benefits of incorporating STEM practices and content within the home and classroom including discussing the engineering design process. Participants were given a brief overview of the 10 STEM-based exploration centers that were set-up around the perimeter of the room. The STEM centers were under the direction of K-5 teachers and administrators from the school.

I chose STEM centers with investigations and challenges that would be meaningful and manageable within an hour time frame they included:

  • Ramp Science
  • Building 3 Dimensional Structures with Readily Available Materials
  • Mini Engineering Building Design Challenges
  • Block Building
  • littleBits
  • Squishy Circuits
  • Reverse Engineering
  • Connecting Geometry and Architecture Concepts
  • Connecting Seed Dispersal to Aviation Concepts
  • Coding

Additionally, I had a table set-up in the front of the room with STEM-based children’s literature and parent and teacher resource books for the participants to look at during the session.

The event was a total success. Everyone was thoroughly immersed in exploring STEM practices and content throughout the evening. The beauty and power of incorporating STEM practices (21st century skills) and content within our daily lives was evident. The importance of providing opportunities for students to develop and strengthen their 21st century skills (creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration) within the home and classroom was seen in “real time”.

A big thank you goes out to Brenda Russell for helping to organize the event, and all the teachers and administrators that helped to make the event a success. The following pictures were taken during the Family Engineering Night. To schedule STEM, MakerEd, NGSS teacher training workshops and keynotes with Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski contact her via the contact page on this site.

Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Family Engineering Night by Dr Diana Wehrell-Grabowski

Had the pleasure of being part of the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota 2017 Conference in January. I presented two 1.5 hour STEM-based sessions. Early STEM Education Consultant Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowskichildhood teachers were introduced to STEM practices and content via conducting hands-on-minds-on, inquiry-based explorations.

There was plenty of room to explore, build, and move about with the workshops being held in the cafeteria. Ramps made out of insulation tubing, wood corner molding, upholstery tubing, string and tape were built from one end of the cafeteria to the other.

During the 1.5 hour session early childhood teachers were introduced to incorporating journaling in the early childhood classroom. I stressed the need to avoid the “typical” handouts of cut outs, tracing, and pasting. Instead, provide opportunities for children to do their own scribbling, attach specimens within their journals, and more. This journal is meaningful to the student, and is all about student-ownership.

Teachers had the opportunity to use recyclable and readily available materials to build 3-D structures of their choice. Working in small groups mini-playgrounds, homes, bridges and more were built.

Teachers were also introduced to incorporating a “tinkering” center within their classroom where young children can touch, observe, analyze, and take things apart. If possible, even try and put the objects back together. The process of tinkering is the foundation of creating young engineers. We all know the relative that took everything apart, tinkered and such they went onto become an engineer.

With the emphasis on incorporating STEM experiences in the early childhood classroom and beyond, many children’s authors have written well-crafted STEM-based books appropriate for the early childhood classroom +. Teachers were introduced to approximately 50 children’s books with STEM themes, a couple of my favorites “Iggy Peck the Architect” and the “Three Little Pigs, an Architectural Tale”.

Teachers were also introduced to incorporating appropriate technology for young learners. The “t” in STEM includes any tool a student puts in their hand to gather more data, and find out about the world around them. Teachers used levels, rulers, magnifying lenses, eye loupes, Fisher Price Code-A-Pillar, and more.

A major focus of the early childhood STEM workshop was to incorporate the 21st century skills within STEM lessons and across the curriculum. Teachers need to strive to develop lessons and a classroom environment that nurtures and strengthens 21st century skills which include: creativity and innovation, critical thinking and innovation, communication and collaboration.

As always it was a great session, teachers left the workshop motivated, and so many stated that they were going to be incorporating many of the STEM explorations and practices they had seen during the training within their classroom. As I’ve said before “it’s never to early to incorporate STEM experiences ” within the classroom.

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

 

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