I had the pleasure of introducing the entire faculty and staff of St. Michael’s School in Dominican Republic to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) practices and content January, 2016. With an audience of 80 teachers, I designed STEM investigations that would span all the disciplines, as well as be relevant to teachers who are in special departments such as Spanish, Character Education, and so forth. In an introductory STEM teacher training my goal is to introduce teachers to the foundational philosophy of STEM education, as well as STEM content. Having the teachers become familiar with the Engineering Design Process through actual hands-on-minds-on experiences is essential. Teachers were introduced to inquiry, reflective journaling, and the 4Cs of STEM education: creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving, communication and collaboration. I look forward to returning to St. Michael’s in August, 2016 to conduct follow-up STEM teacher training with the entire staff over a two-day period. I’ll be interested to hear how the second-half of the school year went with a greater awareness of STEM practices and content being implemented throughout the entire school. The following photos were taken during the STEM training workshop.
Posts Tagged ‘hands-on science’
The positive impacts of incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum and experiences for K-12 students in the U.S. can be seen on a daily basis in “real-time” as well as in media coverage. However, as with any change in educational practices and thinking it takes funding, quality and sustainable training, and time. Not only do I provide science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teacher training in the U.S., I also travel abroad to introduce teachers of all grade levels all over the world to the foundational philosophy of STEM. About 7 months ago I was contacted by Icel Argana, CEO of Excite, Inc. (Philippines) to provide a STEM teacher training institute for the staff of Engineering for Kids (Quezon City, Philippines). Ms. Argana and partners are owners of a franchise of Engineering for Kids in Quezon City, Philippines. Ms. Argana and I exchanged numerous emails prior to the actual training in order for me to design a quality STEM training experience that would be suited to the long-term needs and goals of the corporation. I was excited when we were able to schedule a full seven days of STEM teacher training which also included two days of STEM curriculum development. Twelve teachers participated in the seven day STEM teacher training institute. My primary goal within the seven day institute was to provide the participants with an authentic picture of what STEM practices and content should look like within a classroom or informal learning environment. To achieve this goal, I modeled best practices for implementing STEM. This include: inquiry, reflective journaling, developing and implementing STEM lessons that incorporate the 4Cs: creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving, communication, and collaboration. We started off the first day by getting a clear idea of what STEM is, and how it differs from “hands-on-science”. Teachers were introduced to teaching via inquiry, reflective journaling, The Engineering Design Process, and the 4Cs of STEM education. During the seven days of training teachers conducted STEM investigations that made connections to all science disciplines, and numerous engineering fields including: materials science, chemical, civil, mechanical, electrical, architectural, aviation and aeronautical. Throughout the training teachers were introduced to a wide-array of technology tools, it was stressed that the “T” in STEM is much more then the use of computers. Thus, during the training teachers used simple to complex forms of tools which represented the inclusion of technology. STEM education in the Philippines is in its early stages of infancy. Ms. Argana, and co-owners of EFK/Philippines as well of her staff are to be commended for bringing STEM education into the classrooms and afterschool programs in the Philippines. I hope to visit the Philippines again in the near future to continue delving deeper into the fascinating world of STEM education, and its positive impact it has on transforming educational systems worldwide. I have no doubt, that the dedicated staff of Engineering for Kids in Quezon City, Philippines will have a positive impact on the K-12 students and communities they reach. The following photos were taken during the seven day STEM teacher training institute. For more information about the science and STEM teacher training workshops, institutes, and interactive keynotes I conduct worldwide please contact Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski on this site via the contact page.