STEM Specialist @ International School @ Gregory
Abstract: Finding ways to use the Engineering Design Process in the classroom while still meeting standards based goals and objectives can be a challenge. Using free NASA resources and inexpensive or recycled materials provides a myriad of opportunities for engaging, content focused, engineering design challenges. This hands-on session will provide participants with tools and strategies to use the engineering design process successfully in their classes. This session has three main objections. First, to give teachers knowledge of STEM resources that are free and relevant to their curriculum. Second, to provide teachers a hands-on opportunity to learn how to build and use different types of rockets across grade levels and content areas. Third, to give teachers a solid understanding of the engineering design process and how it can be used across the curriculum. Participants will have an opportunity to experience hands-on problem-solving as they follow the design process to respond to challenges. Pop rockets, foam rockets, and straw rockets can be used to engage students of any ability level. Each challenge will have participants using science and math in an engaging and understandable context. The activities can be adapted to any classroom at any level. These challenges are also easily related to events in the news. Participants will have a chance to see how these activities were inspired by lessons from NASA and other resources; and how these resources can be adapted so students can utilize the engineering design process and 21st Century Skills.
Biography: Nancy Ledbetter is an educator with 30 years teaching experience. Her current position is as a STEM Specialist in a K-8 magnet school. She has taught at the community college, high school, middle school, and elementary school levels. Her degrees include an A.S. in Computer Engineering, B.S. in Political Science, and in Journalism, M.Ed. in Secondary Education, and in STEM K-8, and has recently completed her doctorate in STEM K-8.