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Program Introduces STEM Activities For Elementary Teachers

An Arizona Center for STEM Teachers program is aiming to help elementary teachers learn how to provide more science lessons. The center's engaging approach may be applicable nationwide.

A recent Arizona Daily Star article showed how creative some of the science lessons taught by the center are. One example was an activity where educators pretend they are the bark of a tree. While it might sound crazy at the moment, educators insisted that that exercise and more definitely be incorporated in their classrooms.

“We’ve done a lot of activities where I think, ‘Oh my God. I can totally take that back into the classroom,’” said Kay Armenta, a Tucson elementary teacher, according to the article.

“Since 2008, the program has offered professional development training to K-12 teachers at Biosphere 2.”

Due to the fact that elementary days are a bit more unstructured than high school classes that have specialized science courses, elementary teachers need to find new ways to incorporate science into their daily lessons.

“Another point of emphasis is the integration of technology into the classroom,” reported Kethia Kong of the Arizona Daily Star.

“Each participant received a free iPad, as well as training on how to use educational apps that can be applied in the classroom. Participants also received training on how to stay connected to colleagues online, so they can collaborate long after the session is over.”

The abundance of resources that the program provided educators was among one of the big pluses according to statements by some attendees.

“In previous years, funding for the program was secured through grants from science- and environment-related foundations like Science Foundation Arizona, the Philecology Program and the APS Foundation,” according to the article.

“This year, funding for the summer session was in question until the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice came forward with a nearly $200,000 grant.”

The push to increase the amount of STEM lessons is on the rise and learning new methods and ideas only helps more educators be prepared.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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