Thursday, June 10, 2010

Engineering and Science for Kids

In elementary school, we are constantly looking for ways to engage students in science activities (especially girls). It is important that we instill this love and interest in them early. Thanks to my subscription to the Rutherford County Schools newsletter, I found some great sites for integrating engineering, science, and math.

This site provides some fantastic interactive activities and all of the resources are free!

eGFI is provided by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). This site is committed to promoting and enhancing efforts to improve K-12 STEM and engineering education. There are links to lesson plans, activities, and outreach programs by grade level.

The EngineerGirl website is part of an NAE project to bring national attention to the opportunity that engineering represents to all people at any age, but particularly to women and girls.

There are lots of links here for science and math activities for kids.

Do you have other sites for engaging students in science activities that you can share?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Summer Inservice (Ideas Needed, Please!)

Ok, today I took the plunge and decided to schedule a summer inservice for my county on developing a PLN. Here is the proposal description that I sent to our Technology Director:

July 22 (1/2 day inservice)- Using Social Networking to Connect Yourself and Your Classroom
Learn ways that educators build PLNs (Professional Learning Networks) and utilize services like Ning, Twitter, Skype, and Blogger to collaborate with other classrooms and educators and to pursue professional development customized to your needs.

I have found my experience with my PLN to be so invaluable that I feel it is absolutely necessary to share with other educators. This will be brand new to most (if not all) in attendance. I don't know of anyone else in our district who uses any of these tools except for Skype. I held an inservice on Skype last summer and most everyone in our county have really used it and loved it. Right now, though, they only use it's IM capabilities to communicate with each other. I want to take the next step and help them realize it's ability to connect their classroom with others. Their problem, though, is that they don't have the connections to do that. I want to introduce them to ways to make connections first and foremost.

My goal is to introduce them to the benefits that come with a PLN, show them ways to start building theirs, and hope that they take off from there. I would really like to have them leave excited about the possibilities. I hope to also have some ideas for them that they can begin to pursue immediately that won't require developing relationships right away. I found some great ideas in Kathleen McGeady's last blog post. I would love to hear other ideas/links that you all have to share with these teachers.