STEM conference

Andrea Bennett

Professor @ University of Toledo

Other Speakers-

Carmen Cioc, University of Toledo, Assistant Professor

Julie Campbell, Toledo Public Schools, Science Support Teacher

Judy Lambert, Toledo Public School, Teacher

50-minute breakout session

Presentation Title: Making Connections: Motivating Teachers to Integrate STEM in the Classroom

Abstract: Integrating education across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) can lead to students’ improved conceptual understanding of each discipline. Integration shows students the important connections between subjects, thereby, offering them a more meaningful context for learning that better simulates how the world works outside the classroom. STEM integration is the focus of Making Connections: Preparing Teachers to Integrate STEM, a collaboration between Toledo Public Schools and The University of Toledo that provides professional development (PD) for teachers. Support for Making Connections, which is in its third year, was provided by a grant under the federally funded Improving Teacher Quality Program, and administered by the Ohio Department of Higher Education. The purpose of the program is to aid and motivate teachers to integrate STEM and included instruction in science and math concepts based on 5-6th grade Ohio Learning Standards, engineering design processes, 6E Learning ByDeSIGN lesson planning, science inquiry methods, use of technology, and differentiated instruction using the Universal Design for Learning guidelines. This presentation will provide a short explanation of the grant-funded PD and then assist participants in doing the NASA engineering activity, Touchdown. The challenge will require participants to design and build a shock-absorbing system that will protect two “astronauts” when they land. Participants will use paper, straws, and mini-marshmallows to complete the challenge. Materials and handouts will be provided. Short explanations will follow to show how this activity supports concepts in science (kinetic and gravitational potential energy) and math (measurement and statistics), and can be extended by using technology.

Biography: Andrea Bennett has a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and has taught for 27 years, the last 11 years in a K-8 STEM Lab for Toledo Public Schools. She has received the International Technology & Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) Elementary Teacher Excellence Award  and the ITEEA Program Excellence Award for establishing an outstanding STEM program while working at Chase STEM Academy in 2013. Andrea has worked with the University of Toledo on several grants involving science and STEM education, providing professional development to K-8 teachers across the district.