development workshop each summer. The camp is now in its 5thyear. This year’s topic was “Keeping the “T” and “E” in sTEm Curriculum.” FLATE research has exposed the fact that while science and math resources are widely available for STEM curriculum, there are fewer resources available to introduce K-12 students to technology and engineering (T & E). FLATE’s summer camp for teachers was developed as one way to help fill the gap.
presented to the group, Light Up with Technology, was focused on “T & E” and included concepts of safety and tool using, planning and making a circuit, adding a switch, and introducing conductive thread. Valuable teacher feedback included advice about vocabulary and diagrams, including higher order, inquiry-based questions, and clarity for objectives and instructions. The majority of teachers felt that they would be able to use LED concepts in creative ways with students, and at the end of day one, everyone had a hand made creation.
workshop was attending FLATE’s All Girls robotics camp. Facilitators of both workshop and robotics camp made it possible at the last minute for Bhagyashree Kulkarni, to accompany her daughter, Pragnya Kulkarni, on a tour to Publix Dairy in Lakeland, FL. Kulkarni who is a chemistry teacher at Sickles High School said she was surprised by the curiosity of the students and the thought processes of students and their ability to rationalize beyond what was being shown and their ability to make critical connections which she notes is an important part of STEM. “We are heading towards a new future and we need girls to be engaged in STEM, but we also need boys to be part of the STEM workforce” said Kulkarni.
understanding of the importance to today’s students for consideration of technical careers, and packed their curriculum toolkit with free resources. In the afternoon, teachers worked in groups using the engineering process to integrate sTEm into mainstream curriculum. “I can definitely see, after talking to my colleagues how I can integrate it to the curriculum for lower grades” said Danielly Sindelar, K-8 gifted program teacher at Turner Bartel Middle Schools. “We do a lot of STEM design challenges and I think this workshop presented some pretty interesting ideas” Sindelar said.
working robotic arm from “found items” such as coat hangers and paper towel tubes. Complete lesson plans for the “the arm” are provided to take back to the classroom. One teacher who had worked on a similar project prior to the camp stated that he took “found items” a step further by asking students to use only recycled items! Finally, teachers are surveyed on a scale of 1-5 (overall workshop: 4.0 – very good) and are asked what other workshops they would be interested in attending. “Robotics” is the most popular response. We invite you to keep an eye our web page www.fl-ate.org where upcoming workshops are posted, and we hope to see you at a FLATE professional development workshop.
The State of Florida has the third largest population in country, with an official 2020 estimate of 21.5 million persons and approximately 58% of the population is in the civilian labor force (12,600,000).