Remixing STEM Professional Learning

Dirt and dinosaur bones are not the first things that come to mind when thinking about STEAM…

Did you know you could 3D print a dinosaur fossil…or infer the color of a dinosaur’s feathers/skin based on the shape of their pigment cells? Teachers left this session inspired by how STEAM has advanced earth science and our understanding of the past.

Dirt and dinosaur bones are not the first things that come to mind when thinking about STEAM, but that’s exactly what participants in the STEM Innovation Academy (IA) Remix spent the morning learning.  In a typical year, the STEM & Innovation Department hosts hundreds of teachers, multiple times a year, for a face-to-face STEM conference. The current learning environment allowed a shift to virtual and reimagine how to offer meaningful professional learning.

Two hundred and fifty educators from Cobb and beyond joined the opening session and keynote. Cary Woodruff, paleontologist, pushed everyone’s thinking on how STEAM can be used to enhance new discoveries from Earth’s past. Did you know you could 3D print a dinosaur fossil…or infer the color of a dinosaur’s feathers/skin based on the shape of their pigment cells? Teachers left this session inspired by how STEAM has advanced earth science and our understanding of the past.

The draw of the STEM IA has always been teachers teaching teachers.  Participants value research, but they want to learn from their peers who are in the trenches.  Attendees had their choice of over 60 choice sessions involving STEAM, technology integration, student engagement, literacy integration, STEM certification and more. Cobb educators along with experts from all over the US shared valuable strategies in sessions that ranged from bite-sized 15 minute chunks to full hour sessions.  The afternoon allowed for school teams to reflect on what they learned, how they might implement it at their school, and determine next steps on their school’s STEM journey.

Cobb offers a number of Innovation Academies focused on multiple topics and disciplines from movement to humanities.  The purpose of the STEM IA Remix is to build capacity for STEM/STEAM teaching and learning. The STEM IA is doing this informally through the use of a custom STEM Rocketbook notebook.  Participants are experimenting with this hybrid digital journal to determine potential applications for classroom use in the future. There will be two more STEM IA Remix trainings this year in March and May.

For more information please click the following link: http://www.stemcobb.com/stem-ia-remix.html


Dr. Sally Creel, Supervisor
STEM and Innovative Practice

Contributing Author: Tania Pachuta, Professional Learning Specialist – STEM & Innovation

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