ITTIP Monthly Newsletter
Monthly Megabite PISTEM Observations & Upcoming Summit Longwood University’s ITTIP staff is completing their last classroom visits for Problem-based Interdisciplinary STEM Learning (PISTEM). Last month, staff was able to visit a high school English class that was in the process of studying A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As part of their unit, students worked in groups to create a robot fairy that could be programmed to accomplish certain tasks as a character from the play/book. When staff asked a couple Above: Student’s project on A of the students what Midsummer Night’s Dream using they liked about the Hummingbird Robotics kit. project, one student replied they liked the project’s integration of programming, while another student replied they enjoyed the crafting aspect of the project. Both responses indicated that the idea of integrating Hummingbird Robotics into a Above: Students work group activity, helped appeal to a variety of intertogether to create wings ests. for their robot fairy. (continued on page 3)
Up-Coming Events May 11th Recognition Day, Longwood University closed May 16th PI STEM Summit, Longwood University
May 25th Holiday, Longwood University closed
What to find in this month’s Megabite: Page 1 PISTEM Page 2 Hummingbird Page 3 Grant Writing
ITTIP Monthly Newsletter
ITTIP has Certified Hummingbird Robotics Trainer In April, ITTIP’s STEM Learning Specialist, Stephanie Playton, traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a train the trainer workshop with Birdbrain Technologies. During the twoday workshop, Mrs. Playton learned about the new features of the Hummingbird Duo microcontroller, including Arduino standalone mode and integration of Vernier probeware. Mrs. Playton’s successful completion of the training has certified her as a Hummingbird Trainer through Birdbrain Technologies. If any school division in Virginia would like to know more about receiving professional development for their teachers using the Hummingbird Robotics kit, please be sure to contact the ITTIP office at: 434.517.0717 Above: Tom Lauwers models maker
Above: Stephanie Playton , STEM Learning Specialist, stands with founder of Birdbrain Technologies, Tom Lauwers.
tools, such as Squishy Circuits, with integration of the Hummingbird Robotics kit.
ITTIP takesNewsela Technology Around the World Looking for a resource to help you bring real world and age appropriate content for your students to read? Newsela is an innovative online tool to build reading comprehension with nonfiction, relevant daily news to your classroom. Free features include: multiple new articles daily provided at different reading levels (grades 4-6), student quizzes and progress views, over 1000 articles organized into categories, no advertisements, and classroom assignments. Newsela does have a Pro version that includes options to track student, class, and school progress, writing prompts and more. In addition to it being an online age appropriate non-fiction reading resource, Newsela offers support through For Teachers, By Teachers, mini lessons created and shared by teachers, sample lessons, and even sample units for grades 5-12. Furthermore, teachers could use this tool to integrate interdisciplinary problem-based STEM learning opportunities into their classroom assignments. Maybe it’s reading about air pollution , helping children with special needs, creation of a technology to assist cardiac arrest victims, or finding a solution to the effects of crumb rubber. With Newsela’s variety of organized articles in categories of War & Peace, Science, Kids, Money, Law, Health, Arts, and Sports, educators are bound to find a cross-curriculum teachable moment. 2
ITTIP Monthly Newsletter
ITTIP Spring Grant Writing PISTEM continued) Students in the groups worked and collaborated well together to get the project done. They later presented their robot fairies to their peers in a presentation to the class. The teacher participants from PISTEM will be meeting at Longwood University on May 16th to share their interdisciplinary STEM projects. They will be presenting to their peers the successes and difficulties during integration, as well as their lesson plans, assessments, and digital artifacts such as pictures and videos, of their students working on their robots. Their lesson plans will be posted to the ITTIP Ed Resources site over the summer. ITTIP staff looks forward to learning from their experiences, as the hope is to be funded for a second cohort of teachers to integrate Hummingbird Robotics through Problembased Interdisciplinary STEM Learning. ITTIP will receive notification about further funding in mid-June, while recruitment with partnering diviAbove: Another sion will begin in groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s robotic May. fairy.
ITTIP staff has been busy this spring writing grants for the upcoming summer, as well as writing for grant funding from summer 2016-fall 2018. Between the months of April and May, ITTIP will have written and submitted for three different opportunities for grants including a request for funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Mathematics and Science Partnerships (MSP), and State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Here is a brief overview of the proposed grants: NSF Name/Specific Focus: Engaging Students in STEM through Computing (ESSC), STEM+C Exploratory Integration project Model: Professional Development for grades 3-8 teachers, including a two -week summer institute (cohort 1 in summer 2016) on Scratch and Hummingbird Robotics, and a 3-credit online fall graduate course Partners: ITTIP at Longwood University, Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and nine school divisions (Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Colonial Heights, Cumberland, Franklin, Nottoway, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward) Intended Grant funding period: Summer 2016 - Fall 2018 MSP Name/Specific Focus: Innovative Mathematics Partnership for Rural Elementary Schools (IMPRES), Mathematics Model: Professional Development for grades K-5, including one-week summer institute (cohort 1 in summer 2015), follow up during the school year with math coaches, an online learning community (asynchronous and synchronous), and spring summit Partners: ITTIP at Longwood University, Virginia State University, Highly Effective Services, Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium and two school divisions (Sussex, Brunswick) Intended Grant funding period: Summer 2015 - Fall 2018 SCHEV Name/Specific Focus: Problem-based Interdisciplinary STEM Learning Year 2 (PISTEM II), Improving Teacher Quality Model: Professional Development for grades 5-8 teachers, including a oneweek summer institute (summer 2015), fall/spring webinars, and spring summit Partners: ITTIP at Longwood University, Southside Virginia Regional Technology Consortium (SVRTC), and eight school divisions (Charles City, Chesterfield, Franklin City, Goochland, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Patrick, York) Intended Grant funding period: Summer 2015 - Fall 2016