STEM pattern

STEM pattern

Center for STEM Education Blog

Bringing PD to the Front of the Mind, Not the Bottom of the Pile

on Monday, 08 October 2018 Posted in Center for STEM Education Blog, Teacher Perspective

By: Mark Westlake, Trustey Fellows Cohort 4 - Saint Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, MN

Mark Westlake Trustey STEM Fellows Blog

I’m no stranger to professional development. Throughout 28 years of teaching physics, I have participated in many professional development workshops that provided ideas I could use with students or things I could buy for my classroom, but none of these actually changed the way that I teach. When you get near the three-decade mark as an educator, you pretty much think you have it figured out. When our small band of science and math teachers applied to the Notre Dame Trustey STEM Fellowship, I anticipated picking up some new ideas, but I never thought it would completely change my focus and approach to educating our students. I was wrong.

Extending STEM Beyond the Classroom Walls

on Tuesday, 04 December 2018 Posted in Center for STEM Education Blog, Teacher Perspective

By: Karl Ochsner, Trustey Fellows Cohort 2 - St. John XXIII Catholic School in Scottsdale, AZ

Karl Ochsner - Extending STEM Beyond the Classroom Walls

In 2008, I was asked to move up to teach seventh- and eighth-grade science. With this change, I inherited our school’s annual middle school science fair. Students created individual projects using the scientific method and were judged by parent volunteers. Unsurprisingly, students created many projects based on the Coke and Pepsi taste test, Mentos and Dr. Pepper geyser experiments, and volcanoes that shoot out red food dye. These projects hinted at the fundamental principles of science, but they lacked civic engagement, engineering design, and the essential 21st-century learning skills that businesses have been asking our education systems to incorporate into their curriculums.

Finding Authentic STEM Contexts in Our Own Backyard

on Thursday, 07 February 2019 Posted in Center for STEM Education Blog, School/Community Level, Teacher Perspective

By: Yanny Salom, Trustey Fellows Cohort 2 - Holy Family Catholic School in Jacksonville, FL

Yanny Salom STEM Blog

All human activities have short and long-term consequences for ecosystems. The ethical considerations those consequences raise become an opportunity for our students to consider the impact of their decisions and their solutions. Highly effective STEM education helps students recognize the multiplicity of solutions while weighing the implications for people and the environment. Especially in light of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter about taking care of the Earth, Laudato si’, STEM education has an important place in Catholic education. It gives teachers the opportunity to teach ethics as our classrooms become spaces with a meaningful civic purpose that allow us to educate the whole child about the natural and material world around them.

How to Survive Your First STEM Lesson

on Wednesday, 07 November 2018 Posted in Center for STEM Education Blog, Classroom Ideas, Teacher Perspective

By: Jenn Taylor, Trustey Fellows Cohort 2 - Clara Barton School in Cherry Hill, NJ

How to Survive Your First STEM Lesson

I have always considered myself a lifelong learner, curious about the ever changing world around me. Always looking for ways to improve my teaching, three years ago I applied and became a Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellow. I arrived on campus ready to work hard and learn. After participating in my first “Integrated STEM Experience,” I left Notre Dame’s campus motivated to bring STEM to my students the way the Trustey faculty brought it to life for all of us. I felt empowered in a way I had never felt before. I was a rock star ready to take on the world!

Spaces Teachers Create

on Tuesday, 08 January 2019 Posted in Center for STEM Education Blog, Teacher Perspective

By: Chris Judson, English Content Director, AP-TIP IN, University of Notre Dame

Chris Judson - Spaces Teachers Create - STEM Blog

My third-grade year began in a portable classroom and ended with me almost getting my eye shot out with a bb gun by my older brother. It was a traumatic year, but I'll save the bb gun incident for another time.

Where’s Your Purple Hair?: A Story about STEM Identity in the 5th Grade

on Friday, 15 March 2019 Posted in Center for STEM Education Blog, Impact on Students , Teacher Perspective

By: Sarah Leblang, Trustey Fellows Cohort 2 - St. Anthony de Padua Catholic School in South Bend, IN

STEM Blog - March 2019

At the beginning of each school year, I ask my students: “What is a scientist?” After jotting down their own individual ideas, students form groups to create a picture of a scientist and present it to the class. Then we collectively list the characteristics portrayed in their models. Crazy hair, chemical explosions, accidents, dead bodies... these are just a few of the characteristics that fifth-grade students often come up with. This leads us into a discussion about the origin of these popular misconceptions. As fifth graders, they will become scientists this year, and there is no bright purple hair in a Catholic School dress code.

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