Math Makes Sense When You Engineer

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 3/22/16 11:00 AM

A classroom line plot
Extend math learning with a line plot for “Designing Bridges” data.
To date, 42 states and the District of Columbia have adopted Common Core State Standards for Math. What does that mean in the classroom? Students still have to learn to add, subtract, measure, and make bar graphs. They're also expected to develop a deep understanding of math concepts and be able to apply math outside the classroom. Hands-on engineering is ideal for putting math in a real-world context, and Engineering is Elementary's newest teacher workshop, "Linking the E & M in STEM" (LEMSTEM), is packed with creative strategies for meaningful integration of math and engineering.

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Topics: Professional Development

Library Association Showcases Online EiE Educator Resources

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 12/29/15 11:00 AM

2015.12.29_AASL_Best_Website.jpgThe EiE website underwent a major redesign in 2014 . . .  and educators noticed! This past June the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) named eie.org a 2015 “Best Website for Teaching & Learning.” As part of the award, AASL sponsors a series of webinars so you can learn more about each site. Registration for the EiE webinar is now open.

The hour-long session is scheduled for Weds. February 3rd, 2016 at 5 PM Eastern. It’s free and open to the public, but only the first 100 registrants are guaranteed a spot. So if you’re interested, register today!  

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Topics: EiE Resources for Teachers, Scholarships and Awards, Professional Development

Ask EiE: Do I have to teach all four lessons?

Posted by Chantal Balesdent on 11/10/15 11:00 AM

Every Engineering is Elementary unit includes four lessons. Lesson #4  is a hands-on design challenge that engages students in designing and building a technology: a windmill, alarm circuit, knee brace, and so on. When I faciliate EiE professional development workshops, participants often ask me: “Do I HAVE to teach all four lessons? Can't I just skip to Lesson 4?"

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Topics: EiE Teaching Tips, Professional Development

Alabama Invests in STEM, Brings EiE to Schools Across the State

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 11/3/15 11:00 AM

AMSTI logoA recent study by the business data company WalletHub ranked Alabama one of the worst states in the nation for quality of K-12 education.

The state has been working hard to change that, though, notably with a plan to improve STEM education through America’s largest and most comprehensive math and science program, the $30-million Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative, or AMSTI.  

Recently, we learned that Engineering is Elementary will be part of this initiative, and in a big way. Alabama just adopted new science standards that include engineering practices . . . and EiE was selected as a resource that can help schools meet those standards.

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Topics: Implementing EiE, Professional Development

Innovative Approach to EiE PD Puts a Coach in the Classroom

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 10/20/15 11:00 AM

The Science Museum of Minnesota - exterior view.One of the very first organizations to become part of Engineering is Elementary’s national network of professional development (PD) providers was the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM). Since then, SMM educators have developed an innovative (and highly effective) approach to EiE PD. It’s called an “immersion residency.”

A typical teacher workshop takes you out of your classroom, to attend a training someplace else. With immersion residencies, SMM sends an experienced EiE educator right to your classroom, to teach an EiE curriculum unit over the course of several days while you observe and then co-teach. There’s also time for you to discuss and ask questions. SMM evaluators say this up-close-and-personal approach is getting great results!

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Topics: EiE Research Results, Professional Development

PD Providers Attend Raytheon Symposium

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 9/22/15 3:12 PM

Trying to infect a model cell with model viruses, an EiE Engineering Everywhere activityThe Skyline Room at the Museum of Science, Boston has (as its name suggests) a stunning view up the Charles River to the iconic Longfellow Bridge. Usually, it’s a place for formal events: luncheons or cocktail parties. But if you peeked inside last week, you might have seen a crowd of excited educators engaged in an offbeat game of darts, lobbing Velcro-studded plastic cups at an equally Velcro-studded bullseye.

The “game” was actually one of several educational components at an important event for Engineering is Elementary professional development (PD) providers: the Raytheon – EiE Invited Symposium. This two-day meeting brings EiE PD collaborators from across the nation to our Boston headquarters to learn about new elementary engineering resources and initiatives and—more importantly—to share their own innovations and strategies for providing effective EiE PD.

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Topics: Professional Development

EiE's Newest PD Collaborator Brings STEM Learning to Schools and Homes

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 9/15/15 11:00 AM

2016.09.15_EiE_Collaborator_David_Heil-1Oregon’s adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards in 2014 means more elementary teachers in the state will be integrating engineering with classroom instruction in science. Engineering is Elementary’s network of professional development (PD) providers has expanded to meet that need. We’re pleased to welcome the Portland, OR team of David Heil and Mia Jackson as our newest collaborators.

Heil and Jackson will facilitate EiE workshops for teachers through their affiliation with the Foundation for Family Science & Engineering (FFSE). The independent nonprofit has a flagship program called Family Engineering (FE) that engages young children and their families in exploring science and engineering together.

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Topics: Professional Development

CA Invests in STEM Professional Development for Teachers

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 9/8/15 11:00 AM

The stated ambition of the STEM Task Force of the California Department of Education is the opposite of modest. Leaders want to see a future where the state “leads the word in STEM education.” No wonder California was a lead state partner in the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and an early adopter of the standards once they were released in 2013.

Statewide implementation of the new standards is a multi-year effort; right now,Teachers will learn about NGSS at the 2015 CSTA Conference the state is moving from the “Awareness” phase, involving public education and planning, to the “Transition” Phase, which includes (among other steps) making teacher professional development on NGSS implementation more widely available. With this need in mind, the 2015 California Science Teachers Association conference (slated for October 4 – 5th in Sacramento) includes a “conference within a conference” on this theme: “Primary Pathway to Next Generation Science Standards through Language and Literacy Development.” EiE director Christine Cunningham will be one of the featured presenters.

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Topics: Professional Development