In May, We Celebrate Teachers!
This month we celebrate the individuals who challenged us, molded us, and helped inspire us all for who we have become today. Today’s teachers, those who accepted the baton and are tirelessly changing our world’s future, are shaping the innovators and leaders of tomorrow. There are only two words we can use for both our teachers and the teachers of today: Thank You!
At Discovery Education, we know how hard teachers work to make a difference in students’ lives. We take great pride in celebrating that dedication through several special activities during Teacher Appreciation Week. Here are some ways we are celebrating with you in 2017: click here
As part of our celebration of educators, several Discovery Education Community partners are providing special Teacher Appreciation Week perks for members of the community.
STEMtistic of the Month:
On average, a single teacher will affect just over 3,000 students in the course of their career.
Teachers spend $1.5 Billion annually of their own money on school supplies.
Only 58 percent of eighth-grade science teachers say they have all or most of the resources that they need for STEM.
The most critical STEM career in our society: Teachers. There is a growing shortage of teachers within the STEM “disciplines” as well as across content all areas. To grow our future, and subsequently our student’s futures, we need to ensure the teaching profession is continually being refilled with passionate, motivated educators who embody the 4C’s and a STEM culture. As your students ask about STEM programs and you look to grow professionally, here are a few to look into:
- UTeach: UTeach began at The University of Texas at Austin in 1997 as an innovative way to recruit undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and prepare them to become teachers. 44 universities in 21 states and the District of Columbia are implementing UTeach programs that prepare STEM teachers for secondary classrooms. As of 2016, 76% of graduates of UTeach programs are still teaching and the program is on track to have developed over 8,000 new STEM educators by 2021.
- STEM Continuing Education Options: We also look at how to support teachers currently in the profession who are looking to go back to school to continue their own educational journey. Discovery Education and Wilkes University have partnered together to create a tiered continuing education opportunity for educators looking to expand their STEM understanding. Options include everything from a 12-credit STEM Letter of Endorsement all the way to a full Master of Science in Instructional Media with STEM coursework. The best part, since this is created by educators with an understanding that participants are in the classroom, all of this can be completed in under 2 years!
Download the May 2017 STEMtistic Image
STEM Content Connection:
This month we are highlighting FREE high-quality STEM resources you can utilize in your classroom. From lessons, to virtual field trips, to kits to “borrow”; we set out to share a few of the enumerate STEM resources we find valuable to all educators.
Siemens STEM Day: 130+ Activities & Educator Resources
Introducing Siemens STEM Day: a refreshed and expanded version of the beloved Siemens Science Day, now intended to span the whole K-12 STEM experience! Siemens STEM Day offers a variety of tools and resources that will help you reinvent your STEM curriculum. You’ll find new, original hands-on activities, a teacher support center, and our Possibility Grant Sweepstakes!
On May 16th, join the very first ever Siemens National Day of STEM!
James Dyson Foundation: Ideas Box / Engineering Box
“The cyclades for my vacuum cleaner took over 5000 prototypes… that’s five thousand failures before I’d cracked it; so the moral of the tail is keep on failing – it works,” says James Dyson. This idea of prototyping and failing forward is experienced as students move through the design process as they reverse engineer vacuums and bladeless fans. JDF sends teachers a kit of materials and resources to give students the opportunity to truly get “hands-on” experience with their own learning.
Wonderopolis: Wonder of the Day
Want to take your students to a place where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery? Each day, a new intriguing question—the Wonder of the Day—is posed and explored in a variety of ways. Over 1900 wonders have been explored and all that’s missing are ones from your students!
Global Lab Challenge: Explore Glocal STEM Careers
Every community in the world is supported by industries that have unique career pathways – many that connect local careers which now are meeting global goals as well. Often, students don’t know the possibilities available to them when it comes to finding the right occupation for their passions, interests, and abilities. In this collaborative global project, classrooms collect data on a local STEM career they feel is important to their community’s future and contribute its details to a global database. Students are encouraged to consult the growing database and explore careers in their community, region, or globally that align with their passions and/or interests.
NASA Educator Resources: Activities, Multimedia, Lesson Plans, etc.
NASA is not just tasked with exploration and innovation, they also have a significant goal tied to educating our future generations. NASA Educator Resource Centers are located strategically across the United States to support teachers promoting future explorers [Link: NASA ERC Locations]. If you can’t get to one of the centers physically, all of their lessons, imagery, media, and kits are available online as well! Content tied to scientific principles, design challenges, space living and culture, careers, and food all are housed in NASA’s amazing educator content library.
Hess Toy Truck STEM: Toy Truck STEM Kits
Hess Corporation and Baylor College of Medicine have partnered in a STEM Educational Outreach program. The program offers free learning kits which include Hess Toy Trucks along with a STEM Curriculum that demonstrates how the toys can be used as learning tools by teachers nationwide. Now, they are currently “sold out” for this school year; however, put it on your radar for the 2017-18 school year. With 500 kits to give out, it’s worth the time applying in the next go around! Regardless, you can still download the curriculum here – Hess Toy Truck Lessons.
Discovery Education Resources:
Challenge based K-12 resources, Discovery Education Blog & Professional Learning Community
“You can’t be what you can’t see.” This phrase has so many meanings in education, but it proves incredibly true when we discuss our student’s future careers. The days of “generic” careers have passed. Calling someone an engineer is equivalent to calling all medical workers “doctors or nurses”; there are an enumerate variety of career opportunities. Instead of just building towers out of marshmallows, these activities tie specific “high-interest” careers to challenges simulating the work of that career. A few examples of our past challenges:
- STEM Career Challenge: Sound Engineer
- STEM Career Challenge: Media Strategy Analyst
- STEM Career Challenge: VR Developer
- STEM Career Challenge: Sports Statistician
This month, we look at a which uses creativity and critical thinking all the time as well as the design process, an Acoustical Engineer. Students are placed in a scenario where they have to weigh multiple variables: noise level, aesthetics, and acoustics to name a few; and present a solution to a committee looking at multiple solutions.
Acoustical Engineer STEM Career Challenge – Click here
Submit a STEM Career and Challenge important to your own local community for us to share with the Discovery Community! To submit your idea: STEM Career Submission
Extend Student Learning with Discovery Education Resources:
- Read about types of noise barriers used in construction: http://bit.ly/2pxDnaa
- Explore the following kid’s encyclopedia page on decibels and sound levels: http://bit.ly/2pxvXng
- Read this article from the Singapore Times about how a city is trying to limit noise pollution: http://bit.ly/2oYn2gd
Instructional strategies, Discovery Education Blog & Professional Learning Community
Building a STEM culture in schools or classrooms requires intentional strategies to engage students and elaborate instruction. STEM Strategies that work are proven strategies from Discovery Education Community members and STEM educators that incorporate STEM culture in meaningful, effective, and practical ways.
Join the DE STEM Team live on May 11th, 2017 @ 7:00pm (ET) as we highlight STEM Strategies that Work. STEM teacher leaders will share STEM strategies they utilize in their classroom that all educators can replicate to help develop a STEM culture. The DE STEM Team will also be live for “Open Office Hours” to answer questions, share ideas, and continue the conversation around STEM implementation and culture.
Join the DE STEM Team for our monthly STEM Chat! We facilitate rich conversation between our guest host and STEMthusiasts from all over! How do I participate in a #DESTEMChat? Click here
This month we look at the idea of maker-ed within schools. How do makerspaces and the open inquiry that accompanies these creativity centers translate into schools. We are joined by Tony Long, the Manager of Innovation Spaces at Northrop Grumman as we bridge how industry is using Makerspaces to how we need to use them within education.