ST 1.9

ST 1.9 - STEM teachers and leaders participate in a continuous program of STEM-specific professional learning. 

One of our school’s priorities is to increase our knowledge base for STEM.  Our teachers have participated in professional development workshops on both the national and local levels. One of the requirements for each teacher is upon their return, they present and share STEM strategies to the remainder of the faculty.

Buck Institute for Education (BIE)PBL Training
As a part of our decision to become a Project-Based Learning (PBL), we brought in experts from the Buck Institute for Education to train a group of 35 teachers in June of 2014 following the end of the school year.  The three day intensive training, PBL 101, has been repeated several times and to date, 100% of our staff are trained. This training helped teachers learn how to design, assess, and manage projects that engage and motivate students.

(Pictured: Teachers collaborating with each other and trainers from BIE)

Future of Education Technology Conference

Teachers at Red Cedar Elementary annually attend The Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) to gain insight on emerging technologies, practices and resources that enhance STEM learning in throughout the school environment. FETC offers a variety of session structures designed to foster hands-on and collaborative learning. Participants discover diverse and relevant courses you won’t find anywhere else, with expert-led learning opportunities all focused on the most pressing challenges and technological implementations.

FETC picture

Ron Clark Academy
A team of fourth and fifth grade teachers traveled to the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia for an intensive day of training. The Ron Clark Academy is a model school dedicated to training teachers in “transformative methods and techniques.” At RCA, teachers learned about the techniques which make “classroom transformations” possible, including the application of standards and integration of STEM as a mode of instruction. The dividends from the trip have been impressive. Teachers fundamentally changed the methods of instruction, including an increase in student engagement and responsibility, learning through experiences, and the use of hands-on instructional practices to fully join STEM with the delivery of core content knowledge. Some examples of recent projects inspired by the Ron Clark Academy include: building scale models of the Great Pyramids, a student-led production of The Nutcracker ballet, and “Escape the Room” challenges.

Rob Clark Academy

Tech Coaches/Co-Teaching 
Teachers at Red Cedar Elementary often utilize the expertise of the district technology coaches as a resource  to increase their understanding of technology trends which helps to ensure students are 21st Century ready. Beaufort County School District employs 8 Educational Technology Coaches to work with faculty, staff, and students in training, planning, modeling and co-teaching technology integrated lessons and activities that support their standards and curriculum.

Technology Coaches

Hartley & Moss
AdvancED STEM Summit - Murfreesboro, TN

The instructional coach and a classroom teacher participated in this learning opportunity. The two days of intensive keynotes and and more specific strand sessions supported our STEM program as we increase student engagement, learning, and achievement as we continually improve our teaching and learning process.

(Pictured: Kyra Hartley, 1st Grade Teacher and Dr. Cindy Moss, Senior Director of Global STEM Iniatives for Discovery Education)

Famished, Famished Foxes
Part of building teacher’s understanding of STEM and it’s integration into a classroom is to make sure they experience it themselves in a supportive environment. To start off the school year, teachers participated in what we called Famished, Famished Foxes. This challenge was a play on the game Hungry Hungry Hippos where teachers worked together to problem solve, think critically, collaborate and team build. They were presented with the challenge to create a way to store their “food” using only a specific number and type of materials - blue blocks. They had to test their methods and models and played the game together to test their successes.