March 22, 2017

Design, innovate and collaborate in STEM Studio

Push pins, meat packing trays, tape, balloons and a straw. Using only these materials, apply Newton’s Laws of Motion to design a single balloon rocket car that will travel the furthest distance in a race with other fellow educators. 

Teachers from last year’s STEM Studio stepped outside their core subject expertise and became active learners in this engineering project. Through multiple revisions and iterations of the engineering design process, teachers persisted through to create unique rocket cars and battled for first place with competitive spirit. Though many had experienced challenges and failures, they were all short-lived after being inspired by their peers to take an alternate design approach.

From July 17-21, middle and high school teachers will participate in STEM Studio and experience workshops in pedagogy and exciting STEM content, such as examining biomimicry through a virtual squid dissection, developing an efficient pipeline system through engineering and learning computer science concepts through video game and mobile app design. Similarly, upper elementary teachers will participate June 26-30 or July 24-28 and engage in new STEM experiences that focus on interdisciplinary learning. 

Here’s what you’ll gain from attending STEM Studio this summer:

Design, innovate and collaborate in STEM Studio: A week-long immersive professional development experience for passionate upper elementary and secondary teachers, STEM Studio’s participants are guided to re-think and reflect on classroom curriculum and instruction by experiencing a series of STEM activities each day. 

Design: Each summer, the TGR Learning Lab staff develops new hands-on STEM lessons that incorporate elements of project-based learning. Teachers are given time during the week to adjust and integrate ideas from these lessons into their own classroom curricula for the upcoming year. 

“I found the lesson plan design to be effective because I was able to connect how to infuse STEM within a single lesson,” a teacher said. “The lesson plans provided also helped to see that connection and use as a guide to create our own.”

Innovate: STEM Studio participants explore a variety of teaching strategies including inquiry-based learning. Last year, one teacher felt that “inspiring curiosity via hands-on activity was quite effective.” 

Lesson innovations included the integration of meaningful questions to allow students to grasp more complex concepts and ultimately lead them to discovering the concept on their own rather than reading it directly from a text.

Collaborate: Teachers arrive to STEM Studio with the common goal of improving themselves to improve the quality of education for their students. One of the most memorable experiences from a participant was “the group interaction with the other educators and the facilitators because I definitely felt a sense of community and encouragement throughout the whole week.” 

Ready to join us this summer at STEM Studio? Take your first step by filling out the STEM Studio application today. Your classroom will never be the same. 

Champions of the unexpected.