Had the pleasure of introducing 40 Head Start and Early Start Home-Based Teachers to STEM practices and content last month in Pico Rivera, California. The full-day early childhood STEM teacher training workshop was sponsored by the Plaza de la Raza Child Development Organization in Pico, Rivera. We started off the day getting an idea of how STEM differs from “traditional hands-on science”. We then ventured outside to learn how to use the schoolyard, backyard etc.. to introduce and reinforce STEM practices and content such as: making observations, collecting data, journaling, etc. Back inside the classroom teachers conducted hands-on-minds-on inquiry-based STEM investigations to explore the following STEM content: shapes, patterns, structure and function, building blocks, ramps, floating and sinking, and more. As always, it was great to meet so many wonderful and dedicated teachers. They left the training excited about implementing STEM practices and content with their home-based Head Start and Early Start children and families. A big thank you to Dorothy Jones for being instrumental in organizing my visit out to Plaza de la Raza Child Development Organization in Pico Rivera, California. Hope to come back again in the near future to build upon this initial STEM training.
Posts Tagged ‘STEM teacher training’
Spent four days conducting follow-up STEM teacher training workshops for Lafourche Parish School District. Each of the four days of follow-up training began with teachers sharing the STEM practices and STEM lessons they had incorporated within their 9th-12th Grade Classrooms. In their initial STEM training teachers were introduced to STEM practices and content specifically related to their content area (Agriculture, Biology, Earth and Space Science, and Physical Science). Additionally, teachers were introduced to inquiry-based teaching and learning practices as well as reflective journaling. During the follow-up sessions all teachers agreed that incorporating STEM practices and content within their classrooms had proved beneficial for the students as well as the teacher themselves. Implementing STEM practices requires a big change in thinking both within the teacher and student. A quality STEM environment will require the teacher to be a facilitator versus a lecturer, the lessons will be student driven, and there will be many ways to solve a STEM challenge versus a “cookbook” lesson plan. I always encourage my clients to provide quality and long-term professional staff development versus providing a one-day cram session of what STEM education is. A good bit of the initial STEM teacher training sessions I conduct is spent on introducing the teachers to the 4C’s of STEM Education: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration which is a full-day plus training in itself. Additionally, teachers are introduced to The Engineering Design Process, inquiry-based practices and learning, and the use of reflective journaling in the STEM and science classroom. The following photos were taken during the four day follow-up training sessions. Photos include STEM lesson presentations made by teachers as well as new STEM investigations Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski introduced during each of the follow-up STEM sessions including: the use of super absorbing polymers in agriculture and toxic spills, vertical farming, use of digital microscopes and other digital-based tools, aeronautics, animal adaptations, and designing, constructing, and testing a simulated oil spill. For more information about the STEM teacher training workshops I conduct throughout the nation and world for all grade levels contact me via this website.