On October 7th, we are excited to launch a brand new course as part of the fall PLP eCourse lineup. In this interview, instructors Anne Jolly and Nancy Flanagan discuss their new STEM & STEAM course and what participants can expect to experience.
1. Who is the ideal learner for this course?
Teachers and administrators already responsible for teaching math, science and technology, of course–but also those who are tired of dividing curriculum into single-subject boxes, who see the world as an interdisciplinary playground filled with problems to solve and new ideas to bring to life. Dancers, photographers, musicians, playwrights and poets who know that their art is framed and understood through the lenses of mathematics, engineering and science and brought to life with technologies. Teachers who want to fill their tool bags with usable lesson design ideas.
2. Why is introducing students to STEM so important?
Our students live in a different world. We have to prepare them for a 21st century workforce. We cannot engage them in inquiry, problem-solving and applying core content through traditional, books-and-worksheets teaching of science and mathematics. This is best learned through an engineering/design approach to apply and integrate key learning. Students must acquire skills that include teamwork, innovation, critical thinking, and real world problem-solving. STEM learning rewards curiosity, okays failure and redesign, permits multiple right answers, and encourages innovative solutions to problems kids care about.
3. What will the learning experience be like for participants? Can you tell us about some of the learning activities?
We will introduce STE(A)M to participants and guide them in investigating the nuts and bolts of STEM lessons. We’ll explore the “Maker” culture, currently a hot (and fun) topic in education. We will develop “elevator speech” mini-presentations to introduce STE(A)M explain why STE(A)M is important for kids. We’ll use STE(A)M design principles for building our own STE(A)M lessons, then share and adapt them, to use in our classrooms. And we’ll take a look at some ways schools can support STEM learning.
4. How will this course change the way educators think about STEM & STEAM in their teaching practice?
We will be looking at the roots of the recent STEM/STEAM push–global, technological, as a national effort to build a true 21st-Century workforce. We will give each other the rationale and courage to change teaching and learning, forever.
5. What would you tell someone who was interested, but on the fence about signing up?
It’s time we stop asking our students to solve the problems at the end of the chapter and, instead, ask them to start taking a real role in finding answers to the questions that confound us!Enroll now
STEM & STEAM Twitter Chat
Join Anne Jolly and Nancy Flanagan, instructors of the STEM & STEAM eCourse, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, PLP co-founder and CEO, and other PLPeeps for a #plpnetwork Twitter chat all about STEM and STEAM.
September 22, 7pm Eastern (New York) time
To prepare students to be self-directed and engaged contributors to the workforce, more and more educators are introducing students to STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). How educators go about developing students who can master content and solve challenges is critical. Without significant changes in our ability to promote creativity, exploration, and problem solving in a dynamic learning environment we will be unable to produce the workforce needed to drive economic growth this century. The time is right for STE(A)M. Many public/private grants are becoming available. Districts, schools, and educators are eager to learn how to implement and be successful with this new emphasis. Join us for this one hour chat and find out more. We will being using the #plpnetwork hashtag for this live event.
Register for the Twitter chat and get entered in a prize drawing, receive email updates and a chat reminder, (because it’s so easy to forget and we don’t want you to miss out!)Register now
About the Instructors
Anne Jolly is a former science teacher in the Mobile County Public School System and the 1994 Alabama Teacher of the Year. She currently develops STEM curriculum for the Engaging Youth through Engineering (EYE) initiative in Mobile, AL. Anne serves on the Alabama Math, Science, Technology, and Engineering Coalition Board of Directors. She has also served on the National Commission on Math and Science Teaching for the 21st Century (the Glenn Commission) and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science Education K-12. Anne blogs about STEM on MiddleWeb.
As a professional developer, Anne implements Professional Learning Teams to increase teaching effectiveness. Her most recent publication, Team to Teach, is available through Learning Forward. Anne also works with the Center for Teaching Quality to create and moderate virtual teacher communities to advance teacher learning and education advocacy.
Nancy Flanagan is a retired teacher, with 31 years as a K-12 Music specialist in the Hartland, Michigan schools. She was named Michigan Teacher of the Year in 1993, and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She served for two years as Teacher in Residence with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, working on issues of teacher leadership and education reform. Flanagan is co-founder of the Network of Michigan Educators and her blog, Teacher in a Strange Land, is featured on Education Week’s Teacher division. She served as Electronic Media Coordinator for the Save Our Schools March, in July, 2011.
About the course
Innovative thinkers and powerful problem-solvers are the linchpin of the 21st century workforce. To prepare students to be self-directed and engaged contributors to the workforce, more and more educators are introducing students to STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). How educators go about developing students who can master content and solve challenges is critical. Without significant changes in our ability to promote creativity, exploration, and problem solving in a dynamic learning environment we will be unable to produce the workforce needed to drive economic growth this century. The time is right for STE(A)M. Many public/private grants are becoming available. Districts, schools, and educators are eager to learn how to implement and be successful with this new emphasis. We have designed this course to help you meet that challenge by providing you with opportunities to accomplish these objectives:
- Build an understanding of STE(A)M with a focus on implications for teaching and learning.
- Analyze characteristics of STE(A)M lessons, and the processes used with STE(A)M classes.
- Create a STEM or a STEAM lesson.
- Determine professional learning and support structures needed for implementing and sustaining STE(A)M.
- Compile a tool kit of STE(A)M resources and ideas for use in your STE(A)M position.
- Use a variety of technologies to boost teacher and student learning
- Participate in weekly webinars (or provide written summary of the recorded version).
- Participate in facilitator led webinars (or provide written summary of the recorded version).
- Respond to asynchronous discussions
- Create a STEM or STEAM lesson, incorporating the engineering design process and practices associated with STE(A)M learning.
- Develop collaboratively a plan for site-based resources, supports, and components needed to successfully implement and sustain STEM in a school or classroom.
- Compile a STE(A)M tool kit to assist in STE(A)M implementation.
- Complete the course survey.