March 22, 2016

A STEM Saturday for Washington, D.C., teachers

On Saturday, March 19, the Tiger Woods Foundation hosted its first-ever DC STEM Teacher’s Seminar. In conjunction with the DC STEM Fair and the DC STEM Network, the foundation hosted more than 50 teachers at its three-hour seminar. The free event offered multiple workshops aimed at bringing STEM into the classroom. 

“It was awesome and very engaging,” Elan Dalton, a seventh-grade biology teacher at Basis DC, said after the seminar. “The presenters did a great job of keeping it active and bringing extensions into the classroom.”

With seven different workshops to choose from, there was something for every teacher to experience. Each workshop was structured as a sample lesson that teachers could easily implement into any class they teach, from math to science to after-school activities. The workshops were all aimed at exposing students to the opportunities within the STEM field, inside and outside of the classroom. The workshops used a combination of pedagogy and hands-on applications to deliver the STEM messages to their students.

Teachers working on projects during the Tiger Woods Foundation hosted DC STEM Teacher's Seminar

“The presenters were really good at presenting the material in a way that no matter what you teach, or what age group, the students would be able to find connections to the material,” Dalton said. “If we are talking about plants, they applied that to an engineering classroom, thinking about how plants engineer their own tissues. Building robots, they were able to tie that into a biology classroom in a way.”

Teachers testing circuits during a robotics workshop at the DC STEM Teacher's Seminar

Workshops at the seminar touched on a number of different topics. The United States Botanic Garden presented on the engineering and architecture of the plant world, while FutureMakers showed how to bring circuits, lights and motion alive using robotics. Discovery Education presented on the integration of technology in the classroom to teach STEM, while instructors from the Tiger Woods Foundation presented on a number of different areas, including packaging design, parachute pursuit and mentoring students through science fair projects.