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Evolution of a Flipped Classroom

Welcome to series of Blog Posts brought to you by some amazing past Siemens STEM Institute and STARs Fellows. Today's guest blogger is Azucena Overman who teaches geometry and coaches the UIL Number Sense, Calculator and Mathematics teams at Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock, Texas. Take a moment to discover more about Azucena  following her  post. Please be sure to read and share…  make sure you give us a  follow on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad .  As always, thanks for joining us at the Siemens STEM Academy!  Now… read on… and  have a STEMtastic week! – Mike Gorman

When I first signed up for Flipped Classroom training in the fall of 2012 I did not realize how much it would impact my classroom.  I had already been experimenting with doing video lessons for my substitutes but the workshop made me rethink what my classroom could look like.  Here are a few of the reasons I decided to make the switch:

  1. My biggest personal challenge was pacing.  I can explain well but I like to spend a lot of time questioning the students which extends the lesson.  I also had to spend time on classroom management while teaching the lesson.  Add in the irksome interruptions like messages coming from the office, phone calls, etc. and I was lucky to get sufficient practice time before sending my students off with their homework.
  2. I was excited about having the videos as a resource for students who were out sick or for school activities.  It was my first year teaching high school and I didn't realize how handy this would be in the spring which is even worse than the fall for student activities.
  3. I also hoped that my ELL students would take advantage of the fact that they could do the video at their own pace and rewind and pause as needed.

I knew that the best way to fail is not to commit so I decided to completely flip starting in January 2013 and worked on flipping the next unit over Christmas break.  It was my first year of teaching Geometry and I discovered that flipping makes me work further ahead making me a better prepared teacher.  The other reason that I completely flipped was to establish a routine and structure for my students so they wouldn’t have to guess if this lesson would be flipped or not. Here are some of the big pieces of my flipped classroom and how they have evolved.

  • Videos: I create my own videos because as the teacher, I want to be able to shape the lesson.  Secondly, I felt that my role as video creator establishes my credibility with both students and their parents.  My prior substitute videos were too long so I wanted to speed things up.  Instead of capturing video as I wrote the lesson, I prewrote the lesson and animated each step.  Initially this may have involved scans of notes but I noticed that many of my students preferred to use their phones with their smaller screens to do their homework so now I primarily use PowerPoint, so I can have larger handwriting and fonts.  I create the slides and then add in handwriting using the ink tools and animate each step.  This provides the advantage that I have carefully thought out the lesson and I am almost always able to capture it in one take.  I also intersperse screen capture video of virtual manipulatives like Geogebra to better illustrate the concepts. I used to try to capture the entire lesson in one video but find it is better when I parse the videos into the 2 or 3 main concepts.  Now that I am using Cornell notes, I frequently have 1 video for each page of notes.  It’s not necessary to create fancy videos.  My most popular video with over 4000 views shows how to find the apothem with just a document camera, a sheet of school paper and a few markers.  This illustrates how a well-structured lesson is more important than all the bells and whistles.  That said, I still like bells and whistles so I also created a short history of geometry video by capturing myself drawing the illustrations and then speeding up the video and adding in narration and a royalty free soundtrack.  That’s my second most popular video.  For students who have internet access challenges, I have burned DVD’s that could be played in a normal DVD player.  I have noticed a large drop in demand for this just in the past year.
  • Notes: Geometry is highly visual and good images are important so I was already creating notes for students to fill in.  Additionally, note-taking is one of the most effective strategies to improve student learning.  I initially started with a combination of fill in the blank notes and few examples.  I graded the notes for completion as I took attendance.  It’s surprising how many high school students initially only copy the answers instead of the work for the examples.    I noticed that my students improved at showing work on their tests and quizzes because they had to show work when copying the examples in the notes. This past spring I made a switch to a Cornell notes framework where I still use some fill in the blank but now add in questions on the margins for them.  I would have all of the information for the right side in the videos but would just pose the questions in the margins.  At the beginning of class, we recap the lesson by having the students provide their answers to the questions.  In the fall, I will still start with a more complete framework but will migrate the students to creating their own questions over the course of the year.  Some teachers ask what happens if they don’t do their notes.  Since I personally check the notes as I take attendance and set an expectation that they will do it, a fairly large portion will do the notes. Admittedly, they may have just copied them from a classmate but on the bright side, I got them to write notes, which was always a challenge in the traditional classroom.
  • Classwork:  After doing a warm up and a quick review of the notes, the students work in pairs or small groups.  Their packet includes answer keys because it’s impossible for me to assess everything done by everyone in the classroom.  Because they have the answers, they are expected to show work to support the answers.  Surprisingly some students refuse to look at the keys and forget that they are there.  I spend most of the class walking around helping students which gives me the luxury of also getting to know them better mathematically and personally. After a specified length of time, we regroup as a class to discuss the answers and fix common misconceptions. It sometimes surprises me how much more engaged they become during group work as the year progresses because they learn to help each other and question each other.
  • Geogebra Applets:  I also find and make my own Geogebra applets to better illustrate the concepts.  These are both shown in the videos but links to the applets are also on the lesson web page so the students can play with these on their own.

How will this classroom evolve next year?  Well I was fortunate enough to be selected as the pilot for the Next Generation Digital Classroom on my high school campus.  Currently we are looking at getting a classroom set of tablets.  Now instead of hoping my students will play with the Geogebra applets on their own, we can have the entire class use them.  Taking it a step further, they should even create their own applets.  I’m also incorporating Edmodo and Twitter in the classroom since accessibility will be less of an issue.  I’m looking forward to spending this summer exploring apps to make their lessons more engaging and relevant.  

Azucena Overman, Round Rock, TX ..... Cedar Ridge High School

Azucena Overman teaches geometry and coaches the UIL Number Sense, Calculator and Mathematics teams at Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock, Texas. After obtaining a B.S. in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin, she worked in various industries, including analytical instrumentation, rapid prototyping, advanced materials and structural health monitoring, eventually earning a Masters of Business Administration at the University of Texas Executive MBA program in Austin. After joking for many years that she would teach math when she retired, she stopped waiting and was accepted into the Texas Teaching Fellows program for teachers in high needs areas including mathematics and science.  "Having worked in technology and education, I can see the importance and challenge of preparing our students to be future real world problem solvers. The Siemens STEM Institute is an invaluable opportunity to enhance my classroom with real world STEM experiences and increase both rigor and student engagement."  

We hope you enjoyed reading about making that STEM Tech Integration plan with Azucena.  Please take the time to retweet and pass this information out to other STEM educators you think might be interested!  Now is also a great time to sign up for an RSS  feed and also follow us on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad.  We have more great STEM information coming your way including more STEM ideas from our past Fellows. Have a great week  and take some time to start making your own STEMtastic learning connections… today. – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)    

Posted on July 20, 2014 by Michael Gorman
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Evolving Gameplay to Create Engaged STEM Learners: Make Time for Tech!

Welcome to series of Blog Posts brought to you by some amazing past Siemens STEM Institute and STARs Fellows. Today's guest blogger is Tim Kubinak who teaches 6th grade mathematics at John Yeates Middle School in Suffolk, Virginia. Take a moment to discover more about Tim  following his  post. Please be sure to read and share…  make sure you give us a  follow on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad . As always, thanks for joining us at the Siemens STEM Academy!  Now… read on… and  have a STEMtastic week! – Mike Gorman

As teachers’ time, patience, and funds are stretched thinner and thinner by increased expectations and workloads, our vocational mandate remains the same…to REACH children, to work with them where they are, and bring them up by whatever means necessary. It’s what WE do; it’s what we DO.

I've spent a few years experimenting with using gameplay in my classroom. I've been to the workshops hawking software; I've battled with admin over website filters and efficacy of such programs. I've played all of the games kids swoon over, and vigorously debated their appropriateness in school settings. I've made the mistakes, learned a lot, and if you’ll humor me for a few paragraphs, I’ll illustrate a framework for creating your own gameplay program, on your own terms, for student benefit.

First, this requires considerations of TIME and MONEY. If you have one, and not the other, you might make it work. Having both- even better chances. Neither, and maybe you can come back when conditions are better.

My goal for setting up my gameplay program (Play Your GAMES (PYG): Generating Academic Meaning from Entertainment Systems) was to create a FREE program that pulls in gameplay opportunities across multiple platforms, STEM methodology, problem solving awareness, and academic accountability to benefit overall student achievement across disciplines. I know, a mouthful, but all these words equate to “exploiting student interest”- using what students already do and love and uncovering the high-level abilities they possess.

During a typical week, student groups will qualify for their PYG time-in-game by determining their group average using current grade data. Based on the group average kids earn more playing time. Those not qualified to play for a full session (about 45 minutes), use some of their time to do remediation, enrichment, or assessment correction.

On Friday, our typical PYG gameplay session day, students bring in mobile devices (with permission, of course) or use my hardware to access vetted games (checked by me for adult themes, illegal/inappropriate content). A PYG templateis used to guide students through the process of playing, analyzing, and identifying key STEM concepts. Roles are agreed upon by group members and are rotated as necessary.

For those (admin) who need justification for such an expensive venture, the use of pre- and post-testing can generate data that can determine program efficacy. In addition, data from standards related to problem solving may serve the same purpose. Granted, skeptics may infer any gains in student achievement result from instruction, and to a point they may be right, but isn’t that the point… that continued, progressive exposure to situations requiring problem-solving skills results in better problem solving?

Again, the conversation must return to time and money. Depending on your funding outlook, grant prospects, and district support of your program, finding funds to purchase software licenses may be quite simple or incredibly difficult. For PYG, I use only free games…demos or simple games, for my laptops, tablets, and student mobile devices. Considering the age of the student, the timeframe in which games are to be played, and the hardware resources available is key in determining how your program will work.

As gameplay takes time, both to plan and implement, I feel that I wouldn't have been in a position to conduct such a program if not for my decision to flip my classroom instruction. There are a multitude of presenters and resources for realigning your instruction; Lodge McCammon and Anthony Dove come to mind first, and their methods create opportunities to apply, engage, and reflect. That said, streamlining instruction creates the time needed to play games, as long as it does not impede instruction. That’s not the easiest proposal to make to administrators, but worth the work nonetheless. Thought you were justgoing to play some games, huh?

In the end, it’s a tall order to pull together a variety of resources….time, hardware, software, (money), and knowledge, among others…to do something that may (or may not) result in a quantifiable gain in student achievement. But, then again, if you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in engagement and STEM immersion, things for which test scores are irrelevant.

Tim Kubinak, Suffolk, VA...... John Yeates Middle School

Tim Kubinak, of Suffolk, Virginia, teaches sixth grade mathematics enrichment at John Yeates Middle School for Suffolk Public Schools. He received a B.S. in Wildlife Sciences from Auburn University in 2001; his internship and work experience as a wildlife damage management specialist for USDA's Wildlife Services division led him back to the classroom, to share his knowledge and experience in the sciences to a new generation of STEM-interested students. In his eighth year of teaching, Tim has taught physical science, life science, and world geography, as well as 6th and 7th grade mathematics. "I believe that unique experiences, as well as the everyday situations through which we all live, are ideal opportunities for teaching and learning not only the basics of science and mathematics, but also the intricate physical workings of our planet, our universe, and ourselves. The Siemens STEM Institute is a vehicle for beginning, and continuing, that type of STEM immersion necessary to create a new generation of thinkers, tinkerers, and innovators."

Twitter: @MrKteachesSTEM

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/timkubinak/

We hope you enjoyed reading about making that STEM Tech Integration plan with Tim.  Please take the time to retweet and pass this information out to other STEM educators you think might be interested!  Now is also a great time to sign up for an RSS feed and also follow us on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad.  We have more great STEM information coming your way including more STEM ideas from our past Fellows. Have a great week  and take some time to start making your own STEMtastic learning connections… today. – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Posted on July 14, 2014 by Michael Gorman
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Making STEM Cents of Nanoscience... Spontaneous + Organized = Self-Assembly

             

Welcome to series of Blog Posts brought to you by some amazing past Siemens STEM Institute and STARs Fellows. Today's guest blogger is Marianna O'Brien who teaches 8th grade Physical Science at Lincoln Middle School located in Santa Monica, California. Take a moment to discover more about Marianna  following her  post. Please be sure to read and share…  make sure you give us a  follow on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad . As always, thanks for joining us at the Siemens STEM Academy!  Now… read on… and  have a STEMtastic week! – Mike Gorman

Not sure how to begin teaching nanoscience?  Well, read on.  The following lesson is designed for middle school students to understand what self-assembly is and how it is the foundation of most of the patterns in nature.   The ubiquity of self- assembly makes this lesson meaningful and versatile.  The lesson content is modified from the High School Nanoscience Program at the California Nanosystems Institute (C(N)SI) on the UCLA campus.  The concept of entropy relates directly packing structure, but is well beyond the scope of middle school and is not discussed.   This post includes Activities #1 - #4 and includes the Engage, Explore and Explain stages of the 5 E model.

The table below shows the placement of the activities and experiment within the 5E model, materials, handouts and video clips.  All teacher produced resources may be accessed from my website. Engage:  Activity #1 - True or False Activity Key Idea:  Nanoscience is interesting and surprising Vocabulary:  nanoscience Resources:

  • Fact or Fiction Presentation (Please read presenter notes)

Taken from Nanoscale Science Activities for 6 – 12 (NSTA)  and Making Things Smaller (NOVA)

Engage:  Activity #2 - Patterns in Nature

Key Ideas:  Self-assembly is a process that occurs spontaneously and organizes a system

Vocabulary:  Spontaneous, ordered/ organized, self – assembly

Resources:

  • Patterns in Nature
Handout

Explore:  Activity #3 - Penny Squares Key Ideas: Understanding two types of packing structures Vocabulary:  packing – structure, cubic, hexagonal Resources:

  • 35 – 40 pennies for each group
  • Penny Square handout
  • Penny Square Presentation
  • Flu virus video (3:39)

Explain:  Activity #4 - Penny Ratios Key Ideas:  Use math & data analysis to determine that maximum efficiency in two types of packing structures Vocabulary:  efficiency, ratios, area of hexagon, area of square Resources:

  • Packing Structure Presentation
  • Packing Structure handout

  Marianna O'Brien, Santa Monica, CA

Lincoln Middle School

 

Marianna O'Brien of Culver City, CA has been teaching 8th grade Physical Science for 13 years at Lincoln Middle School located in Santa Monica, California.  After earning a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a teaching credential from the University of California, Irvine; she pursued a Master's in Educational Leadership from California State University, Northridge. Since she began teaching, she has sought experiences to share with her students and enrich her classroom, including nanoscience, robotics and a Zero-G weightless flight experience.  "I am delighted to participate in the Siemens STEM Institute. I am eager to learn from other educators and experts in all fields of STEM. I know I can use all that I learn to inspire my students.  The more my students learn and understand about STEM; the more likely they are to pursue careers in STEM fields and understand how they can become part of innovative solutions to the many challenges facing our community, our country and the world."  

We hope you enjoyed reading about making that STEM Tech Integration plan with Marianna.  Please take the time to retweet and pass this information out to other STEM educators you think might be interested!  Now is also a great time to sign up for an RSS feed and also follow us on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad.  We have more great STEM information coming your way including more STEM ideas from our past Fellows. Have a great week  and take some time to start making your own STEMtastic learning connections… today. – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Posted on July 8, 2014 by Michael Gorman
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STEM Centers: Allowing Students to Direct Their Learning

Welcome to series of Blog Posts brought to you by some amazing past Siemens STEM Institute and STARs Fellows. Today's guest blogger is Stacie D. Shaner, of Greencastle, Pennsylvania. She teaches 7th grade math applications and foundations at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School in Greencastle, Pennsylvania.  Take a moment to discover more about Stacie  following her  post. Please be sure to read and share…  make sure you give us a  follow on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad . As always, thanks for joining us at the Siemens STEM Academy!  Now… read on… and  have a STEMtastic week! – Mike Gorman

One of my many goals as an educator is to provide my students with the opportunity to guide their own learning.  It is important for students (of all ages) to learn how to explore topics of interest independently.  When it comes to STEM education, students must be provided opportunities and resources to explore the world around them to discover how they fit into it.  One way that I have been able to successfully support this learning approach in my classroom is through the implementation of rotating STEM centers.

Between units of study in my 7th grade Applications of Mathematics course (a semester-long course that emphasizes the real-world applications of science, technology, engineering, and math) I pause to allow my students the opportunity to explore topics of interest through centers.  As an elementary educator I have always found value in the use of educational centers.  It can be challenging at the middle school level to create centers, but I feel as though I have been able to successfully do just that.  Below are the centers that I have created to use between units of study.  The students are given one free class period to explore any two of the centers.  As they complete the variety of activities at each center, they are expected to reflect on their learning through the use of a foldable.  I collect the foldables at the end of the class period to assess their learning.

Reading Nook

Students that select this center have access to my STEM library and a few iPads.  Through the Keystones to Opportunities literacy grant that our school has been awarded the last two years, I have been able to beef up the resources in my STEM library and will soon be able to provide my students with Kindles and access to a variety of nonfiction digital resource libraries.  It is the expectation that students select a book or article that is of interest to them to read.  I allow the students to partner read if they so choose and discuss what they have learned.  In addition, the students are provided with books at a multitude of reading levels.  The students love that I have provided them with carpet squares and chairs that tuck neatly into a back corner of my classroom.  In addition, I have set up a chalkboard for the students to use as a “Parking Lot” to share thoughts and questions with one another.

Artists' Corner

For this center I collaborated with the art teacher to integrate art into my STEM-based classroom…STEAM!  The students are currently provided with the following activity choices.

  • Junkyard Creations - The students use a laminated drawing (created by the art teacher) of a junkyard or home full of broken bits and pieces to create their own original design.  Students will only be permitted to use items from the drawing in their creation of a robot, vehicle, or device.
  • Blueprints - The students have prompts asking them to redesign our classroom or school and create a blueprint drawn as close to scale as possible.  There will be no limitations on students, desk space, or accessories for the space.  Students are introduced to the concept of scale in math, science, and later in my own course.
  • DaVinci - The students can view sketches of parts of DaVinci's inventions and build off of what he started; identifying the purpose of the inventions and possibly a name.  The students will be expected to continue the sketch series.

Research Lab

In the research lab, students are given the opportunity and freedom to research extension topics related to previous and future units.  Many students have recently begun researching colleges and career paths in STEM-related fields.  I am thrilled that I have so many 7th graders interested in pursuing STEM-related majors in college.  As students research various topics, they are expected to select a graphic organizer to use to organize the information.  I do not collect the graphic organizers – I only collect their foldables at the end of the class period.  The kids love that they get to research what they want and keep the information for the next time or to take home and save.  For this particular station I have made a poster of completed graphic organizers showing the students their options for both topics and graphic organizers.

K'NEX Construction

Since I have four Engineering Design Marvels and four Bridge Building kits, and the students LOVE the K'NEX, I felt a K'NEX center was absolutely necessary.  For this center students work together on one of the structures outlined in the instruction booklet or create their own.  If students chose to create their own structure they will need to spend part of their time brainstorming and planning their design.  I do mix up the activities at this center.  I do not always allow them to choose a structure to build.  I have found it far more educational to print out many of the free K’NEX activities from the K’NEX website (just create a free teacher account) to assign to the students.  Typically the pieces needed to complete the structure or lab activity are missing from my kits.  This encourages the students to problem solve.  They have to work as a team to develop an alternative plan to complete the structure without compromising the integrity of the activity.

Gaming Center

Students that select the Gaming Center are provided with either a laptop or iPad to play a variety of STEM-based games.  I have games and activities linked to my wikispace that the students are already familiar with and have enjoyed playing in class.  This provides students with the opportunity to play more challenging levels or play with a friend.  In addition, the PTO has generously provided me with a little bit of money to purchase applications for my iPads.  Many of the students enjoy playing BridgeBuilder and TinkerBox on the iPads as well as many other problem-solving iPad games.  

Writing Workshop

Depending on the availability of materials for my Paper Science station (see below), this station is occasionally combined with the Artist’s Corner instead of serving as a standalone station.  Many of my students enjoy writing and I want to appeal to as many of my students as possible.  The students that select this station can choose from the following activities.

  • ABC's of STEM - I found a fantastic ABC book that students can make using vocabulary words from STEM.  Students can start their book and work on it throughout the marking period or each time we have our STEM center days.
  • Acrostic Poem - Students can use this time to create an acrostic poem using a vocabulary word/word wall word from one of our units.
  • Educational Book – On each of my iPads I have downloaded an application called Book Creator for my students.  If they so choose, they may create an educational book on a STEM topic that can then be shared in the Reading Nook center with other students.
  • Journaling – Using articles and snippets from the STEM library resources, I created a variety of prompts for students to use to journal.  Many of the topics selected are “hot button” topics in the news right now so that the students are generating thoughts and opinions on issues that matter and affect them.

Paper Science

This is my newest and most popular center.  I recently stumbled across a free book online called 100 Science Experiments with Paper.  This book outlines different science experiments that can be done with REALLY basic supplies.  Many of the experiments can be completed in less than 15 minutes and do not require constant teacher supervision.  I downloaded and printed the book for students to use and then filled a big bin with available supplies – paper cups, toilet paper rolls, wax paper, rubber bands, etc… The students are then asked to select an experiment for which they have the supplies and work as a group to complete the activity.  Each experiment has higher-order thinking questions and/or an extension activity to push the students.  Some of the best foldable responses come from the students reflections on their experiments.

As I mentioned previously, to assess student learning I have the students complete a foldable as they work.  At the start of class I pass out a half sheet of paper that the students fold into thirds.  I give the students the questions at the start of class and set an alarm on my phone.  Each time the alarm goes off the students are expected to clean up, rotate, and respond to the assigned question – two questions total.  Questions can include…

  1. What is something new you learned?
  2. Did you face any challenges?  How did you overcome them?
  3. How does this connect to what you have learned in this or other classes?
  4. How is this a STEM-based activity?
  5. If you could do one thing differently at this station, what would it be?  Why?

The last or third box is always reserved for student input – what changes they would like to see with the STEM centers.  I absolutely love soliciting my students for suggestions.  It takes them a while to jump on board, but as soon as they realize I take their suggestions very seriously, they start to share.

The centers that I have created are very fluid.  While I make a variety of activities available to the students at each center, I encourage the students to develop their own as well.  Any student is welcome to come to me and ask to work on something that is not listed at their station.  As long as they can make STEM connections and remain on task I allow the students the freedom to direct their learning.

Stacie Shaner, Greencastle, PA.... Greencastle-Antrim Middle School

Stacie D. Shaner, of Greencastle, Pennsylvania, teaches 7th grade math applications and foundations at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School in Greencastle, Pennsylvania. She received a B.S. in Elementary Education with a minor in reading and a mathematics concentration from Shippensburg University as well as a M.S. in Instructional Media from Wilkes University. In addition, Stacie is finishing her Instructional Technology Specialist certification from Clarion University this summer. Stacie has been a teacher for 5 years, but has recently transitioned into her current position. “Words cannot begin to describe how honored I am to have been selected for the Siemens STEM Institute this summer. Professional development in the area of 21st century learning is crucial if we want our students to succeed in the real world. This program will provide me with the opportunity to bring problem-based real world activities into my classroom to stimulate and motivate students.

We hope you enjoyed reading about making that STEM Tech Integration plan with Stacie.  Please take the time to retweet and pass this information out to other STEM educators you think might be interested!  Now is also a great time to sign up for an RSS feed and also follow us on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad.  We have more great STEM information coming your way including more STEM ideas from our past Fellows. Have a great week  and take some time to start making your own STEMtastic learning connections… today. – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)  

Posted on June 21, 2014 by Michael Gorman
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A Big Shout Out to the 2014 Siemens STEM Institute Fellows!

A special word of congratulations to this year's very special group of STEM Fellows that will be attending the Siemens STEM  Institute this summer at Discovery Headquarters outside of Washington DC. Please be sure to read and share…  make sure you give us a  follow on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad .  As always, thanks for joining us at the Siemens STEM Academy!  Now… read on… and  enjoy our STEMtastic news! – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

The Institute is back for 2014! This is a wonderful  one-of-a-kind program that promotes hands-on, real-world integration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the classroom.The Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education, in conjunction with the College Board, are proud to announce the group of fifty diverse middle and high school STEM educators selected from across the country to participate in the 2013 Siemens STEM Institute this summer. These amazing  STEM Fellows will receive an all-expenses-paid*, week-long professional development experience, hosted at the world headquarters of Discovery Communications, located outside of Washington D.C. The Fellows will also be exposed to leaders, personalities and innovators whose work across STEM disciplines shape and define our world today. The week will be filled with guest speakers, field trips to leading institutions where Fellows will observe real-world applications of STEM subject matter, and networking opportunities with like-minded peers from across the nation. In addition to broad-based STEM applications, each Fellow will be assigned to a thematic working group that will provide additional deep-dive exposure. Following the Institute, the Fellows will serve as STEM ambassadors in their schools and communities as they continue working together on STEM projects and empowering peers with the tools and knowledge gained from the Institute. Take a moment to view this year's STEM Fellows and the incredible agenda they will be a part of. All of us at the Siemens STEM Academy honor these esteemed educators and wish to send our very best congratulations.

Thanks for joining us as we recognize this year's STEM Fellows. Also consider attending one of both of this weeks free webinars. Please take the time to retweet and pass this information out to other STEM educators you think might be interested!  Now is also a great time to sign up for an RSS feed and also follow us on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad.  We have more great STEM information coming your way. Have a great week  and take some time to start making your own STEMtastic learning connections… today. – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Posted on June 10, 2014 by Michael Gorman
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Congratulations to the 2014 Siemens STAR Fellows

 

In the this post we would like to recognise an esteemed group of educators. Take a moment to read about the 2014 Siemens STARs Fellows. Please be sure to read and share… make sure you give us a follow on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad . As always, thanks for joining us at the Siemens STEM Academy! Now… read on… and enjoy this STEMtastic news! – Mike Gorman (Siemens STEM Academy)

The Siemens Foundation, in conjunction with the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), and Discovery Education are pleased to announce the following forty middle and high school teachers from across the country, chosen to participate in the Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) program. Selected from a large group of applicants, these educators will work with the nation’s top scientists on short-term projects focused on the most current and innovative science research happening today. These two groups of twenty educators have been chosen to attend an all-expenses paid, two-week professional development program at one of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee .

STARs provides middle school and high school STEM teachers the opportunity to engage with top scientists and researchers on short-term research projects about current topics of national interest that are related to ongoing research at the laboratory. Working in small teams, teachers will collaborate with laboratory scientific teams to conduct assigned research projects on current topics of national interest. ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) will provide additional leadership and resources to help them incorporate research into their science and math classrooms. In addition to the research immersion, each workshop will provide additional educational enhancements throughout the program in the form of seminars, mini-workshops, tours, and field trips to focus and expand the research experience. Take a moment to learn more about this amazing cohort of educators at the STARs Page. You may also wish to take a look a their exciting itinerary for this summer.

About Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) largest, multi-purpose, national research laboratory. Its primary research areas are neutron science, advanced materials, biological systems, energy, national security, nanotechnology, chemical sciences, nuclear physics, and high performance computing.  ORNL is home to more than 50 scientific centers and specialized facilities, including the Spallation Neutron Source, National Center for Computational Sciences, Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences, Joint Institute for Biological Sciences, Bioenergy Science Center, Center for Nanophase Material Sciences, National Transportation Research Center, and the Tennessee Solar Initiative.  ORNL creates scientific knowledge and technological solutions that build the nation's expertise in key areas of science, increase the availability of clean, abundant energy, restore and protect the environment, and contribute to national security. Located in Oak Ridge, TN, ORNL is operated by UT-Battelle with an annual budget of $1.65 million.

Thanks for joining us as we recognize this year's Siemens STARs Fellows. Please take the time to retweet and pass this information out to other STEM educators you think might be interested!  Now is also a great time to sign up for an RSS feed and also follow us on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad.  We have more great STEM information coming your way. Have a great week  and take some time to start making your own STEMtastic learning connections… today. – Mike Gorman (Siemens STEM Academy)

Posted on June 3, 2014 by Michael Gorman
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STEM Connect Virtual Event... An Ultimate Cool School Assembly

Welcome... In this post, we invite all STEM educators and their students to attend the "Ultimate Cool Assembly" online here at the Siemens STEM Academy.  Please be sure to read and share…  make sure you give us a  follow on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad .  As always, thanks for joining us at the Siemens STEM Academy!  Now… read on… and  have a STEMtastic week! – Mike Gorman

Tune into this free Siemens Science Day Ultimate Cool School Assembly as Patti Duncan presents fun and interactive science activities and highlights the importance of science literacy. During this webcast, students will be amazed as they witness interactive demonstrations and mind-blowing experiments while making tangible connections to science class.

The Ultimate Cool School Assembly is a prize awarded to the winner of the Siemens Science Day Ultimate Cool School Sweepstakes. Learn about the sweepstakes and find hands-on activities to engage your students in science concepts at www.siemensscienceday.com.

An Ultimate Cool School Assembly

Bending the Elements: Exploring the Way the World Works

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 1pm EDT

Presented by Discovery Education

Learn More And Register

We hope you enjoyed reading about this wonderful resource that could be a part of your STEM classroom.  Please take the time to retweet and pass this information out to other STEM educators you think might be interested!  Now is also a great time to sign up for an RSS feed and also follow us on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad.  We have more great STEM information coming your way. Have a great week  and take some time to start making your own STEMtastic learning connections… today. – Mike Gorman 

Posted on May 23, 2014 by Michael Gorman
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