DENSI Days: Part II

After a session of  morning DEN  line dancing and Yellowstone “Rap” review lead by Rita Mortenson, we turned our undivided attention to  Paul Andersen, an award winning Science teacher from Bozeman, MT who had much more to offer than fun and games! Paul’s Keynote challenged us to consider how gaming is a natural form of 21st C student engagement, sharing with us research which supports his philosophy of challenging students through a gaming atmosphere.

Research shows that students who demonstrate a higher need for immediate rewards when persisting through tough challenges, tend to be the students who struggle when attempting to pursue post high school degrees due to the proximity of the career reward they attempt to pursue.  By implementing a gaming type atmosphere, all of Paul’s students are rewarded by attaining “Levels” of achievement, just as they would when playing many 21st C trendy games like Call of Duty, Civilization, Dungeon & Dragons  or Wizard 101, ( By the way… these are my son’s favorites….)  in the classroom.  By implementing strong “flipping the classroom techniques, ”  Paul has more time in his class for challenging students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills.

As we progressed into the day of diverse sessions, the  “Science Techbook 2.0” was unveiled, boasting a sleek, user- friendly, menu redesign…. Then, Lance Rougeux announced a wonderful surprise! Because of the great educational value of this product, and the value of dedicated DEN Stars, 3M , Who also Sponsors the 3M/ Discovery Science of Every Day Life has  chosen to sponsor all DEN STAR Educators with a subscription to the New Science Techbook 2.0!

THANK 3M Here! ( Contact Us)

Personally, I have found this resource of great value and I am excited to have access once again! The Discovery Science  Techbook allows my math students to analyze and apply our algebraic foundations to science, researching and exploring many STEM ideas through dynamic activities which have already been referenced with specific state standards, (DE is also actively adding the common core standards as well). The Techbook also allows me to create mini STEM institutes through the community college or local YMCA as after school or weekend options for kids interested in science!

Tuesday ended with plenty of sweet choices including ice cream sundaes & creating the schedule for Wednesday’s DEN Community Un-conference. Within 30 minutes there were well over 30 sessions to choose from, tapping into our greatest resource – Each other! All stars now had the opportunity to network, share and learn, respecting each person’s journey through the 21st C learning experience.

I really appreciated the Wednesday Un-Conference, finding opportunities to tighten up understanding on some loose ends through whirlwind of ideas in my head and pursue Tech desires that had surfaced.  I found a team of great educators who helped me problem solve how to provide quality tech integration support for my colleagues within time and access constraints. Because of Dennis Grice, Rita Mortenson, Lea Anne Daughtry, Traci Blazoski, Mark Perlman, Dave Tchozeewski and David Fisher, I am returning to Marshfield School District with many great references and sound ideas to enhance the integration of the DE Middle School Science Techbook and other 21st C educational resources and tools! What is even better, is that I know if at any time I need some advice or support, every one of these people will be willing to help!

Wednesday Evening roped our DEN community into a Themed “Ho-Down” Celebration including line dancing, bowling, billiards and photos, while further connecting as motivated, inspired DEN Stars from Canada, United States and Romania.  

Thanks to all you wonderful DEN STARS & Staff!  You Complete Me!


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  1. LIndsay Morhart said:

    Great summary of all the learning that took place! Great meeting you and networking and I look forward to connecting with you in the future!

  2. Lea Anne said:

    Great summary Peg. I have missed you dearly this last week. I had a ball spending time with you all week!

  3. Deb Thonus said:

    Great idea to send a thank you to 3M! Just did it! Thanks for your post and recap of DENSI. It was a fantastic experience!

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