Next week is another one of my favorite weeks of the year because it’s the Siemens STEM Institute. Coming off of a phenomenal week at DENSI 2014, so many of you continue to share your reflections through our blogs and other social media. With that spirit of community in mind, next week we have the opportunity to welcome 50 educators new to Discovery Education to the Siemens STEM Institute. Often, these are 50 educators that aren’t as connected as you are. They come to get their feet wet in STEM education and leave being drenched by a fire hydrant in the plethora of information that a connected community provides.
Below is an introductory blog that I posted on our website. Thank you for welcoming these educators with open arms.
Welcome to the Institute and Beyond
Each year I look forward to the STEM Institute for so many reasons. Meeting a new group of smart, passionate educators. Sharing tools, resources, and techniques that make teaching and learning more engaging, relevant, and fun. Hearing stories of collaboration. Learning of new ways our STEM educators are planning to move the needle in the upcoming school year. I could keep listing things on and on. However, the number one reason I love this week is because it provides an opportunity to welcome a new group of educators to our community.
In my role at Discovery Education I have the privilege of working with and learning from educators all across the country. Over the past 9 years we’ve built one of the largest and most committed learning communities in the world, the Discovery Educator Network. It’s because of events like the STEM Institute that the community is so vibrant and continues to grow. Next week you will hear from tremendous speakers sharing insights on STEM education, witness more tools than you could possibly ever integrate into your classroom, and connect with people that are as charged up as you are to “make things happen” in your school and district. In my opinion, it’s the relationships that you form that are the most important. As you’ll find out, in a digital world you can always find new tools and hear innovative ideas from presenters. You aren’t always afforded the time to make personal connections, build lines of support, and form lifelong friendships.
As a STEM Fellow you join the Siemens STEM Academy group of educators that are passionate about STEM education. Furthermore, you’re connected with a larger community of educators passionate about sharing with each other; the Discovery Educator Network (DEN). With that in mind I look forward to meeting and learning from each of you. When I do, please know that our team is here to support you.
I can’t wait to say hello and welcome you.