Summer is a time when teachers renew their skills with professional development, and teachers at the STEM Leadership Academy find many changes, and that the world continues to change rapidly.
In Tennessee, the aademy was attended by educators from the state’s 136 school districts.
The Tennessee STEM Leadership Academy has recruited 150 teachers and administrators who will serve as STEM advocates and leaders in the state’s schools. The professional development program, which is funded through federal First to the Top funds, provides ongoing support to the Academy STEM Fellows through conference calls, sponsored meetings, webinars and workshops.
“I’m looking forward to our experiences,” said Mark Dowlen, Heritage High School agriculture teacher and STEM coordinator. “We’ll learn about a broad array of topics. We’ll discover new, fresh ideas for our students and faculty.”
Educators will learn about communication technologies, innovative practices and pedagogical approaches to expand active STEM learning environments. They will learn about aerospace engineering, brain research, energy engineering and engineering without a kit.
Rebecca Sneed, a seventh-grade science teacher at Union Grove Middle School, participated in the Academy last year. “It was extremely helpful, giving me new ideas and new ways to share those ideas.”
Sneed broke back a number of activities and lesson plans. She incorporated activities, such as building coin-operated radios, rockets and windmills, into a STEM elective class aimed at students who want to be engineers.
“We’re preparing students for jobs that don’t exist,” she said. “I’m honored to go to the STEM Leadership Academy and share my knowledge with educators across the state. I’m honored to bring back knowledge that will better serve our students, our community and our businesses who will hire our students in the future.”