Groups

Groups

Join groups to network with other STEM teacher leaders, discuss topics of interest, create webinars, and share resources.

Share what is happening in your district and state related to the Corona virus and school closures. Does your school have a plan to support teachers, parents and students who might be home for an extended period?

Picture

What challenges and strategies are being developed or employed to meet this situation?

Please tell us where you are from, if you are teaching elementary, middle or high school, and share the context of the situation in your city in relation to the Corona Virus, student questions, and school closures. What challenges and strategies are being developed or employed to meet this situation?  Also tell us if your students have access to online learning and if so how your district plans to use it.  If we get a robust discussion going we can create separate threads for elementary, middle and high. 

Comments

Picture
Full Name

This is a pretty scary time. Many states are closing schools, from k through University. How is it effecting you? Is your school district at all prepared for this kind of event? Are there instances where STEM teacher leaders are taking the lead with virtual communication and teaching? Please let us know where you are from? The situation in your district/state, and ideas for dealing with this situation. 

Mon, 03/16/2020 - 10:17 AM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

I'm a STEM teacher in Colorado Springs. All our school districts have closed but districts have plans to do on-line learning. I was just about to judge a science fair at a local school! It's postponed! I know many students who have worked very hard on their spring science fair project. YEAH for these young investigators, these budding STEMologists!  Now, no science fairs!?! How sad!  

What can we do? My hope is that the work of these students would be honored and the science fair could continue virtually!! What if students record their presentation and display board to share it with a virtual judge? (like ME!) I would be happy to judge this way.  With the corona virus safety changes, I would hate for science fairs to be canceled completely.  This is a time for innovations and solutions to overcome obstacles.

Perhaps schools who haven't done a science (or STEM) fair could use this idea as a strong, project-based home learning opportunity for their students to work on while schools are closed. Start a science fair NOW!  This is a wonderful solution to "on-line" learning project as well.  Send out the guidelines, teachers, and be there for interactions with your students as they select an idea, ask questions, make plans, conduct experiments, collect data, analyze results and come to conclusions.  The possiblities are endless! 

Mon, 03/16/2020 - 12:02 PM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

In reply to by DeLene Hoffner

Thanks for this. I think virtual science fairs are a great idea. Do you have a platform that is available for you to use for this? What grade range is this for? Would love to hear how this experiment works out. Please keep us posted.

Anyone have any ideas for citizen science projects? 

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 12:09 PM Permalink

Delene, this is a great question and set of suggestions for ways to continue the science investigation process while students are out of school. Now that students are at home and parents are looking for ways to continue their learning, lack of time might not be such an obstacle to investigating an interesting question.

Our research team at Education Development Center recently completed a study of middle school science fairs with funding from the National Science Foundation (http://sciencefairstudy.edc.org/), to try to understand, among other things, if participating in particular types of school science fairs enhanced students’ mastery of the science and engineering practices, and if so – how?  

We didn’t include online science fairs in our study, but what we learned might be relevant here. We found that students who participated in science fairs where they were able to present and defend their work and/or critique other students’ work made greater gains in our assessment of their understanding of the science and engineering practices.

Science fairs can accomplish many different things and not all fairs are intended to strengthen students’ abilities to apply the science and engineering practices to a question of their choosing. But, if this is a goal for a middle school science fair and teachers want to consider ways to conduct their fair in an online environment, then it might be worth thinking about how students could view and discuss each other’s projects in addition to how science fair judges could view and rate students’ work.

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 1:37 PM Permalink

I love this idea especially as we move into a full school year of the "new normal" as a STEM educator I am busy racking my brain this summer on ways to adhere to social distancing guidelines in my class all while working towards using NGSS practices as much as possible. I love the idea of having students share their projects using an online platform and even being able to have them provide feedback to their peers online as well. We will be using 1:1 chrome books in our class this year. Any ideas of what platforms are available for students to present and share projects online and be able to provide feedback would be greatly appreciated. 

Thu, 07/16/2020 - 10:33 AM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

I'm going to suggest two separate threads for this:

(1) one public-facing, providing ideas as to how to support virtual STEM teaching and communication

(2)  another providing a private (not public) platform for STEM teacher leaders to share what they are concerned about, but afraid to make public given no state/district appeared to have prepared a plan

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 10:40 AM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

In reply to by Susan Meabh Kelly

Susan, I agree this is a good idea but we can't do it at this juncture. Even if we made it so it could be viewed only by people who join the group, how would we decide which of the 1,700 members of this site can come in and who can not. I wonder though, if we can find a way to express our concerns of lack of preparedness of districts with constructive suggestions on moving forward, that would not leave people afraid to post? 

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 12:02 PM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

South Dakota - This week is off (Th/F were Spring Break).  Waiting to hear about next week?  We (the HS) are pretty much up to our own devices.  I have a dual credit Biology course and the university is having teacher trainings on how to use D2L via Zoom.  I may look into this if things go longer than a couple of weeks (most likely) but I have to provide content right now.  I have my online webpage with links to Google Docs for handouts, etc.  I can put video links, Purpose Games links for review, and invite students to other resources.  I just finished making an interactive video with my own questions and notes in EdPuzzle.  You can link YouTube, National Geographic, etc.  Add commentary, notes, questions (that can be auto graded), as well as trim the resources to the length you want.  I am looking for a way to give a test without them being able to leave the website even though they could use their phones/multiple devices?  

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 11:27 AM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

In reply to by Julie Olson

Thanks for this post with many ideas. Would love to hear from other bio teachers who are searching for resources. Wondering if we should have separate discussions for elementary, middle and high?

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 12:05 PM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

In our area, there are some people who are dismissing the need for social distancing and other mitigation steps, not just because this is "just another flu," but also because they believe it's really caused by the roll-out of the 5G telecom network. This latter is based on a supposed correlation between past flu pandemics and various advances in mass communication.  A great opportunity to study false correlations, and the difference between correlation and causation.

    But do you know of good curriculum that could be adapted for this kind of lesson?

 

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 11:48 AM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

Informal and formal teacher networks have collected and published constructive suggestions via social media, organization websites, state education departments, and listservs. While there are other efforts still in development, here are a few to give some idea of what has already been accomplished:

Geoscience (via NAGT): https://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/teach_geo_online/index.html

Physics (via Twitter @MrJoeMilliano): https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfrRFemUTwaBHNcyd2y3JFHTSWvF5D23JTCb1V2pbDar0-Ddg/viewform 

General Online Resources: http://www.amazingeducationalresources.com 

General Online Resources (via Rhode Island Department of Education): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1evYD9XM-_mGXTz91yRw-jzqzQj-ZM7x07_wmvowoMnY/htmlview#

General Online Resources (via Connecticut Science Teachers Association): https://www.csta-us.org/Distance-Learning-Resources

Michelle Ellis (NC) and I will organize periodic virtual STEM teacher leader meet ups to provide teachers a pathway of support beyond their professional/social function.

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 3:02 PM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

I'm a high school robotics teacher using VEX robotics.  My school is closed until April 27th.  The robotic class is a trimester class, so I now have a brand new group of kids and I need to teach them online.  One idea I had was to have students listen to a podcast/read a blog about robotics and then respond to some online discussion prompts.  Where should I be looking?  Does anyone have any go-to podcasts that they love?  I'm looking for anything that I can relate to robotics, for example, machine learning, driverless cars, how a Roomba works, etc.  Thanks in advance!

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 3:55 PM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

My situation in RI is the same as Julie Olson, from SD. This week is "vacation" and we wait to see what we will do after that. I think it is unfair to expect teachers to jump into a different format for teaching without appropriate training. I already have a list of potential sites/activities/strategies, but I feel sorely underprepared to serve my students virtually. My strength as a teacher is my story-telling abilities - and I am not sure how I can do that without my students present.

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 4:36 PM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

In reply to by David Upegui

I think students will really miss the daily interactions with their teachers. Online "busy" work could get very dull.  Can you find a way to do a scheduled webinar where you can talk with your students?  (even small groups)  If we can find a way to keep connected to our students, everyone will benefit.  Keep the magic of your teaching alive! 

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 6:29 PM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

In reply to by DeLene Hoffner

I think this is a great idea especially in districts where kids have access to parents cell phones and/or wifi. Of course this is difficult when some do and some don't. But hearing a teacher's voice telling a story (and if on the I pad they can see the story) sounds very reassuring and connecting for elementary students not used to being home from school. Thanks for sharing this!

Wed, 03/18/2020 - 3:58 PM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

Students often fear what they don't understand.  Would there be online studies that students could do researching the COVID-19 virus? Creative teachers could have several aspects for students to research such as current thoughts about the cause, creating solutions, investigating how vaccines are developed, analyzing world infection rates and so on.   If students are partnered up, they can support each other working together on their research topic through online chatting, phone calls, or video conferencing.  An online research project investigating an aspect of the COVID-19 would be very engaging for students. 

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 6:20 PM Permalink
Picture
Full Name

Susan Levesque and others interested in VEX robots,

If you are doing VEX robotics, I would have the kids design virtual VEX robots.  Try to do as much as you can with CAD.  RobotMesh has a cool product where you can assemble a VEX robot and run it through a simulator.  I have not played with it yet, but they just developed an online course which is in Beta and free until the end of April called Virtual Academy.   If the kids are newer to robotics, have them build Virtual VEXIQ robots using SnapCad.

Thu, 03/19/2020 - 11:31 PM Permalink
Log in or Join to post comments