WHAT WE OFFER
Science Accuracy: It’s not magic
Science is the pursuit of knowledge. It’s the way we find out how things work and why things are the way they are. But science at the early elementary level is often presented as a way to make cool things happen—turn substances colors, cause explosions and create yucky experiments. As a result, elementary classrooms are often filled with projects that “mimic” science but do not contribute to students’ understanding of science and scientific principles. In this session, attendees explore the foundations of science and its objectives and then examine real case studies to learn to design projects with scientific relevance and real-world application.
The Scientific Method: Arriving at good answers to our questions
The Scientific Method is the universal process that scientists use to find answers to their questions about the world. As such, it’s an indispensable component of science exploration—even at the elementary level. In this session, attendees walk away with a solid grasp of the scientific method, age-appropriate techniques for integrating the process into science lessons and how to leverage this true-and-tried decision-making process to develop students’ observation and critical thinking skills.
The Engineering Design Process: It’s problematic (1.5 hours)
Engineering provides the opportunity for hands-on projects and experiential learning that makes classroom time fun. Engineering in its purest sense is about building things—processes and products.
But engineering is not building things just any old way. This session examines real classroom projects to uncover design flaws that compromise the integrity of engineering projects. Attendees learn the fundamentals of engineering, its role in solving society’s problems and how to design classroom projects and activities that actually model the work of engineers and practice requisite skills.
Engineering: Building the right skill sets
In this session, attendees learn to cultivate soft skills that are now the requisite for success in engineering and in the 21st-century workforce. Activities include modeling and practicing integrating soft skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking into engineering lessons, projects, and activities. There is also a focus on building students’ confidence through reframing failure as a learning experience and understanding that there are multiple solutions to problems.
Elementary STEM Education: Learning to do no harm
This session pulls the curtain back on insidious, often unconscious, forces in and outside the classroom that can destroy students’ STEM confidence and hinder their future STEM abilities and opportunities—regardless of the teacher’s skill in STEM instruction and even the student’s STEM aptitude. Gender bias, math and science anxiety transfer, and misconceptions about STEM performance are examined in detail along with techniques to reduce the presence of these destructive forces in the classroom.
Infusing STEM: Working with what you have
Plants. Seasons. Shapes. Patterns. Dinosaurs. Although it may not be obvious, elementary classrooms are teeming with STEM learning opportunities. This session outlines strategies to introduce basic STEM concepts in fun and engaging ways and to leverage existing lessons and units to nurture a STEM mindset and to heighten STEM awareness and appreciation. Attendees leave with practical and affordable strategies and tools for infusing STEM throughout their classrooms.
GETTING STARTED WITH PAIGE & PAXTON
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