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Arizona SciTech Blog

This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

Track: Arts & Sneaky Science 

Steve Jobs defined creativity as “connecting things.” These exercises will implement that strategy while exposing students to science concepts while using their creativity.

Activity: Labeling an image subsection emphasizing Botany and Biology.

Attendees will look at a composite image. This is an alien creature that has been invented and drawn. It has no reference point. It does come from or expand on any of the existing genres in the media i.e. Star Wars Star Trek, Dr Who etc. (It’s original). Attendees are then given a subset of that image that contains some biological elements. They are encouraged to use their knowledge of biology and botany or any other source and their imagination to label each section of the image.

 

Presenter: Michael Amann, CEO, Oblyvion Enterprises  

 

Register for the 8th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Community Stakeholder Summit” today!  

Track: STEM in Education 

During the session, participants will create two types of rockets using simple, inexpensive materials that they can use in their classroom to fit a variety of themes such as telemetry, variables, graphing and the engineering design process.

The first rocket is a simple straw rocket using tape, paper and a straw. Participants create their straw rocket then will test it against other designs. Discussion is held as to what worked or did not work. Re-engineering and collaboration is encouraged so everyone feels successful.

The second rocket is a foam rocket made from foam insulation, duct tape, card stock and a rubber band. Participants create their rocket then test it using a variety of angles. Multiple variables including fin design is encouraged.

Several lucky participants will walk away with a free copy of the NASA Rocketry guide for Educators.

 

Presenter: Jennifer Cheesman, Teacher, Peoria Unified School District 

   

Jennifer Cheesman receiver her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix and is currently teaching sixth grade science at Zuni Hills Elementary School in the Peoria Unified School District. A strong advocate for hands-on, inquiry-based learning, she involves her students in real world learning that connects the world to her classroom. Her professional interests focus on space education and has worked as an educator crew trainer for the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama as well as a Professional Development Instructional Assistant at NASA Johnson Space Center. In addition, she serves as an advisor for Student Council and is a member of her district’s Steering Committee for Student Leadership. She was recently honored with Space Center Houston Cheri Brinley Outstanding Educator award as well as the Frank Luke Air Force Association Chapter Teacher of the Year for her contributions to STEM education.

 

Register for the 8th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Community Stakeholder Summit” today!  

Track: STEM in Education 

Biodiversity PEEK STEAM workshops help educators see that science and art are creative arenas where mistakes are important and that curiosity, compassion and wonder spark real learning.

In this session, teachers will learn to empower their students by doing real, student-driven, conservation and citizen-science projects outside!

Handouts will be given at the end that share the SunPrint lesson, give tips for sharing citizen science biodiversity photography from their own school yards, and assist in applying for grants to fund student-driven biodiversity improvement projects for their schools. Questions will be taken.

 

Presenter: Stephanie “Jo” Bowman, Education Director, The Biodiversity Group  

   

 

Register for the 8th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Community Stakeholder Summit” today!  

Track: STEM in Education 

This creative and interactive workshop develops knowledge in areas to give teachers the tools to succeed.

There are interactive group discussions and creative experiential lessons. During this interactive learning experience, participants will gain knowledge about the unique and changing role of outdoor STEM education in our changing society. The effects of outdoor STEM education experiences on participants’ beliefs and attitudes about science mirror the STEM goals of increasing student interest, and identity in STEM.

Participants will leave this session with concrete ideas about high quality, meaningful STEM integration in grades 3-8.

Abstract

The interactive activities and other suggested ones can help student gain interest and identity in STEM. Recent research found that by the fourth grade, one-third of student’s loss interest in STEM subjects. By eighth grade, the number jumps up to 50%. Also, many students’ interest in STEM is hindered by the lack of being able to envision themselves in STEM careers. The more experiences they have in different areas of STEM, the more likely they are to pursue STEM careers. Using experiential STEM exercises could lead students to begin a path in STEM and develop career readiness in this area. The current demand for STEM-capable workers surpasses the supply of applicants who have trained for those careers. 16 of the 20 occupations with the largest projected growth in the next decade are STEM related, but only 4 of them require an advanced degree.

During this session, educators will learn specific outdoor education skills essential to bringing experiential learning into the classroom, learn practical planning a logistic skills to prepare them to design, implement and prepare set-up stations for hands-on activities. They will gain a structured approach to inquiry-based lesson planning as well as resource gathering information that will enable students to make personal connections to the activities.

Outcomes

1) Learn specific education skills essential to bringing experiential learning into the classroom.

2) Develop practical logistic application to assist teachers to design, implement and prepare set-up stations for hands-on activities.

3) Gain a structured approach to inquiry-based lesson planning as well as resource gathering information that will enable students to make personal connections to the STEM through experiential hands on learning. Description 

 

Presenter: Tom Fraker, CEO, Tonto Creek Camp  

   

 

 

Register for the 8th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Community Stakeholder Summit” today!  

Track: Arts & Sneaky Science 

This session will focus on engaging and embodied techniques for teaching physics, engineering, and design concepts through project based learning.

Explore the basic physics of sound with games and activities that get everyone up and dancing. Discover how the classification of musical instruments can reinforce the processes scientific inquiry. Finally, use art-based techniques from industrial design to prototype your own musical instrument

 

Presenter: Nathan Botts, Museum Educator, Musical Instrument Museum 

   

 

 

Register for the 8th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Community Stakeholder Summit” today!  

Track: Arts & Sneaky Science 

In this session, Pre-K & Gradeschool educators will learn about the Reggio Emilia philosophies and how to incorporate works of art from Davinci to Money into the sciences. 

First, attendees will choose an artist and go through the steps of analysing the art with spacial reasoning. Then, they will use that reasoning to accurately recreate the art, down to teaching proportions for mixing primary colors to creating the secondary colors they will need.

 

Presenter: Angela Watson, Teacher, Western Valley Reggio Emilia Child Care Center  

   

 

 

Register for the 8th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Community Stakeholder Summit” today!  

Track: STEM in Education

In this session, teachers will explore air pollution through hands-on investigations taken from Kids Making Sense, a global environmental education program designed to bring real world science into the classroom.

Participants will learn about particle pollution: how it forms, common sources, and methods for measuring particles in the air. Then they will take science outdoors and record real air quality data in real time using small, hand-held sensors and cell phones. Sessions are recorded, saved through an app and uploaded onto an online map for analysis and discussion. The Kids Making Sense curriculum and resource kits are available for check out to schools in Maricopa County at no cost through the Maricopa County Air Quality Department.

 

Session Lead: Jenny Frank, Education Outreach Coordinator, Maricopa County Air Quality Department 

 

Register for the 8th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Community Stakeholder Summit” today!  


Track: STEM in Education

The session will start with background information about what stormwater is (rainwater once it hits the ground).

We’ll discuss where stormwater goes, and the type of pollution that can get into our stormwater and travel to our local waterways. Together we help prevent water pollution (clean up trash, pick up pet waste, wash cars at commercial car washes, dispose of yard waste correctly, etc).

Time permitting, we will do a hands-on activity with participants that show the affects of water pollution by creating a watershed out of a piece of paper. Teachers can do this exact activity with their own students. Attendees will also receive handouts describing the free lessons offered offer in classrooms for students grades K-8 in Maricopa County, as well as handout some promotional items (pens etc). I also plan to give out promotional items throughout the workshop to help engage the audience.

 

Session Lead: Katrece Swenson, Outreach Coordinator, Maricopa County Stormwater Quality Program 

 

Register for the 8th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Community Stakeholder Summit” today!  

Track: STEM in Education

Come explore how Arizona State University has developed interdisciplinary STEM education resources, grounded in education research and specifically designed for middle and high school educators and their needs.

Research evidence has shown the value of both active learning and adaptive feedback (VanLehn, 2011; Freeman et al., 2014); both have been incorporated in two types of exploratory activities. These two types of exploratory activities include (1) immersive, game-like, space explorations and (2) virtual field trip earth explorations. Activities engage STEM learners with interdisciplinary examples such as: using models to explain phenomena like solar eclipses, deriving Kepler’s third law of planetary motion, connecting Mars rover site data to Earth observations, and collecting global evidence for the mass extinction of dinosaurs.

Every experience includes fully defined 5E lesson plans and alignment documents for both formal and informal audiences with embedded teacher and time management tips, and misconception alerts. Receive your personal invitation to join the Infiniscope Teaching Network, a digital platform that empowers a community of educators to collaborate, create, customize, and share these next-generation exploratory activities with other network members. Experience examples of active learning, adaptive feedback, customized experiences, and experiences built from scratch in a professional development program coming soon.

 

Session Lead: Jessica Swann, Community Manager, Infiniscope

 

Register for the 8th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Community Stakeholder Summit” today!  

Track: STEM in Education

This collaborative lunch is an informal way for educators and STEM leaders who want to collaborate and share their STEM activities. Bring your favorite STEM project or activity, and pass them around to share as we discuss one of our favorite topics and fight the “decline in physics!”

 

Lunch Meetup Leader: Scott Hogan, Math Teacher, Desert Edge High School 

      

 

 

Register for the 8th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Community Stakeholder Summit” today!  

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