Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PBS Teachers Webinar: STEM Programming!

I made some notes tonight while I participated in the PBS Teachers Webinar. I was thinking it might be helpful to share!

Did you know that even if a program isn't on the TV broadcast schedule, you can find the show segments online? Take your students to meet "Real Scientists" at DragonflyTV! Lots of resources here to motivate students and also dig deeper into subjects. Engage in inquiry activities as well! Connect "real life" science to what is happening in the classroom.

They even have a Nano technology game board you can request! High school students are finding this relevant and useful, as well as the intended middle school audience.

Then there is SciGirls -- similar to Dragonfly TV -- real kids doing science investigation but the whole thing is geared to 1 project. It is all about Biotechnology Engineering & Math and you can find activities and articles related to Sci Girls in upcoming NSTA Journals!

Not to be left out is Design Squad - reality competition show aimed at middle and high school -- focusing on science and engineering tasks. 6 teams of real kids compete for a $10,000 college scholarship from the Intel Foundation.

You will notice there is an emphasis on the design process -- teamwork -- creative problem solving and learing from mistakes. They focus on the same skills as engineers in REAL life! Independent evaluation results show increases in student understanding, engagement, and interest in after school engineering programs! Make sure to look for the DOWNLOADABLE teacher guides.

FETCH! is MY personal favorite :) (Note: He even stopped by our office in December!)

This program also helps encourage problem solving using the design process by engineers, make predictions, and actually test their designs. Everything aligns with National Science Education Standards and all the activities are tested by kids and reviewed by educational advisers before they are made public!

Extensive "Leader Notes" can be found within the Parents & Teachers area including: New Hands On Science Leader resources & Training!

Not bad for sitting on my couch, eh? Look at what I learned! Make sure to join the next PBS Teachers Webinar, February 23 about Faces of America!

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