Monthly Archives: March 2016

STEM K12 Research Initiatives and Teacher Preparation Programs

  As STEM education gaps continue, US STEM occupations have increased four times the rate of total employment (Batts & Lesko, 2011). According to the 2010 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, funding and research targeted to address challenges include a two-pronged approach, to prepare all students to have a rich foundation in STEM and to inspire and motivate students to learn about STEM subjects in hopes more choose to enter a STEM career field (Raju & Clayson, 2010). The purpose of this paper is to explore K12 research and curriculum approaches to improving teacher preparation, which will assist in creating positive student perceptions and interest towards STEM and STEM career pathways using an online MOOC platform.

The following full academic paper presentation explores current literature and research exploring face to face and MOOC STEM teacher training programs.



Teacher Feature: Kindergarten Explores Star Wars


It’s Teacher Feature Thursday!

This week we are featuring Cathryn Prudencio and Silvana Oderisi in the Kindergarten classroom. Their classroom was finishing up a three month exploration of Star Wars. When Cathryn and Silvana were trying to decide what to study they observed that their children were already getting excited about the release of the new Star Wars movie. They decided that they could use this theme and still easily achieve the curriculum requirements.  Our executive director, Kim Kiehl, documented how they did this throughout their unit in her blog post, What Happened to Kindergarten?

I joined their class near the end of their Star Wars unit. During this lesson they are exploring merchandise. Below you will find a reflection and lesson images from Cathryn and Silvana.
Kinder Cover

What were your topics of exploration? Why did you choose them? Where did they come from?

Our topic of exploration was Star Wars and merchandising…

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Promises to My Learners as a Maker Educator

User Generated Education

I used to teach a graduate course in professional ethics for the educator. One of the assignments I did is have these inservice educators develop a list of promises to their students. I asked them to make it poster size so they can post these promises in their classrooms. Here is an example: 10 Amazing Teacher Promises for the Beginning of School.

As I prepared to teach a summer school/camp on maker education (see, I decided compose a list of promises to my learners as a maker educator.

  1. I promise to make the making environment positive, joyful and physically and emotionally safe so you feel safe enough to take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, and test things out.
  2. I promise you to provide you with resources and materials to help you create, make, innovate.
  3. I promise that I will respect and support your own unique ways of…

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