Day 2 of the trip started early, with breakfast at 7 AM. I had a delightful conversation with my tablemates, a mix of K-6 and 7-12 math and science teachers. We shared stories of our PAEMST videos, both our instructional choices and our blooper reels. Most of us agreed that we tried to show different types of instruction, often large group and small group, in our videos. We all included a hands on or active learning component.
After breakfast we lined up by award year and height and moved to our group picture location. Once in place, we were introduced to Megan Smith, the US Chief Technology Officer. Megan congratulated us, shared stories of inspiring teachers from her education, and talked just a bit about her work. She has an infectious enthusiasm for STEM projects, including education, and an authentic affection for people, like the awardees, who are deeply committed to STEM education.
At the conclusion of her remarks, Megan introduced us to the Secretary of the Department of Energy, Dr Ernest Moniz. He shared an overview of the work at the Department of Energy and gave us an open invitation to visit any of the Department of Energy Labs. He shared a statistic that 50% of the US economic growth since World War II has been due to STEM efforts, providing a foundation for the importance of our work and recognition. Then he joined us for our group picture!
Next on our agenda was participation in a Symposium on Active Learning in STEM Education. Our keynote speaker was Dr William Penuel, a professor of education psychology and learning sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He talked about the characteristics of and importance of active learning in STEM education, emphasizing these key points:
- Active learning should be anchored with authentic student questions and life experiences
- STEM learning should include all students and all students should be visibly represented in examples of STEM learning
- The idea of smartness should be expanded to include qualities we see emerging in ur students, not just the skills they have mastered
- Dr Barnett Berry, CEO of Center for Teaching Equality, talked about the importance of teachers driving their own professional development and taking back PLC time to meet their needs. He also emphasized the importance of modeling great teaching for others and of hybrid coaches who share time between classroom and coaching.
- Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Executive Director of 100kin10, shared her organization’s work to prepare 100,000 excellent STEM teachers by 2021. She invited teachers to sign up to collaborate with 100kin10 here.
- Dr Sharon Lynch, professor at George Washington University, previewed work she would share with us the next day about the inclusive success of students in STEM high schools across the country.
|Ohio 2014 PAEMST Awardees: Susan Dankworth & Marcy Burns
Ohio 2015 PAEMST Awardess: Beth Vavzinczak & Amy Roediger