Stem Educator Symposium ’15 #preses15

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It is like coming home!! It is nice to have many homes.

Of all the conferences that I get to attend, this is the one that is most meaningful. Here inspiration turns to action. Here, you get to talk the talk, then visit a classroom and see it in action. They do not show pics or graphs, they show you students in action. Then they show graphs. I am not sure it is fair that so many great people are in one place at a time. I have spoke about Tracey, Scott, John, Ryan, and Amy in the past. This time I would like to focus on Kathy and Sue.

There were many things that amazed me, but the thing that got me the most was the MATH Collaborative Classroom of Kathy Sampson and Sue Martino. This class is composed of grade 6, 7 and 8 students. They were talking about math. They were debating different ways to solve quadratics and what forms were most appropriate. The transition from group work (productive noise) to whole class instruction (silence) to many different hands being raised to group work (productive noise) was amazing. Just for kicks, I asked students to solve a Chem 12 Calorimetry question that uses the distributive property. Although they did not understand the chemistry, they were able to solve it without the use of a calculator until the very last bit. This was the same question that some of my grade 12’s complained was too difficult.

I loved the way that they used language, that students use jargon correctly in a professional way. I love the discussion that was happening between students and between students and teachers. It was similar to the things that I try to do in my classes, but it was at a whole new level and with less mature students about a topic that I previously thought pretty dry.

I have so much more to learn form them. I hope they will contribute 2 chapters to the Collaborative Class Book.

RHS and #OML on EarthDay by students for students

RHS Science 12 students decided to run a TED Talk-like fundraiser for the automated Greenhouse and One Million Lights. Earth Day made sense. But I was at SES in Colorado. So students ran this fundraiser with minimal adult involvement. I skyped in from Colorado to kick things off, but it was by students for students.

earth day brochure screen shot

OML Greenhouse Brochure

They organized the theatre, the sound system, lights, program, pamphlets, snacks (provided by IEEE), greeters, MC’s etc… They were PRO !! They are like the childhood toys,… my job is to wind them up, point them in the general direction, and let them go.

They contacted the media re their event. This was the result. Scan_20150428 (2)

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