ITTIP Monthly Newsletter
Monthly Megabite Flying with Finch for STEM Longwood University’s Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP) offered a two-day summer professional development workshop, Flying with Finch for STEM. On June 22nd & 23rd, fifteen middle and high school teachers came to campus to learn how to use the Finch Robot in their STEM classrooms. The participating teachers were from Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Pittsylvania, and Prince Edward school divisions. The funding for this professional development was made possible through a grant from the Verizon Foundation. The Finch Robot was developed at Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE lab for computer science education and has compatibility with over 20 different programming languages, including several that are appropriate for learners as young as 5. It has on-board features including sensors, motors, LED beak, pen mount, buzzer and an accelerometer that users can manipulate by programming the Finch. During ITTIP’s workshop, the participants learned the Scratch programming language to Above: Finch participants create and program their Finch Robot and get acprogram robots to play a game of soccer. quainted with its features. Continued on page 3
Up-Coming Events Sept 7th
Labor Day, Office Closed
Sept 15th Webinar, PISTEM II participants Sept 22nd 8th Annual STEM Learning Summit, Longwood University
What to find in this month’s Megabite: Page 1 Finch Page 2 PISTEM II Page 3 TES-MMW Page 4 STEM Summit Page 5 IMPRES Page 5 Spring/Summer Conferences Page 6 Student Recruitment
ITTIP Monthly Newsletter
Teachers Participate in Problem-Based Interdisciplinary STEM Learning II (PISTEM II) Longwood University’s Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP) recently offered the professional development opportunity, Problem-based Interdisciplinary STEM Learning II (PISTEM II), on June 25 – 26 and July 15 – 17. Twenty-two elementary, middle, and high school teachers came to campus to learn problem-based learning strategies for their classroom through the integration of Hummingbird Robotics. Hummingbird Robotics works with a variety of sensors, motors, servos, and LEDs that can be integrated with crafting materials (i.e. recycled cardboard, popsicle sticks, string) to create untraditional robots. During ITTIP’s professional development, the participants learned both CREATE Above: Teachers work together to Lab Visual Programmer and Scratch programming environments to probuild a playground with certain gram the Hummingbird Robotics kit. Participants were challenged during criteria and constraints. the week with problem-based learning activities that incorporated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Continued on page 4
PBS Kids : ITTIP takes Technology Around Plum the World Landing Are you interested in providing your students with opportunities to learn more about the world around them? If so, you may be interested in Plum Landing. Plum Landing provides an exciting opportunities for students and children ages 6-9, to learn more about their environment through videos, games, apps, and hands-on science activities. This digital adventure is focused around an animated alien Plum, a video game designer. Plum encourages young learners to learn about the planet earth through exploration and activities. In fact, they have whole thematic units set up for educators to use! The unit formats include opportunities to integrate one-hour standalone sessions, five one-hour sessions, and five three-hour sessions. Check out the online resources and see how you can introduce Plum to your classroom!
ITTIP Monthly Newsletter
Teaching Environmental SustainabilityModel My Watershed (TES-MMW) Longwood University’s Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP) staff, Dr. Paula Leach (Director) and Stephanie Playton (STEM Learning Specialist) conducted professional development on Longwood’s campus for middle and high school science teachers on July 21 - 23, 2015. The project, Teaching Environmental Sustainability - Model My Watershed (TES-MMW) is a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant funded research and professional development project led by Concord Consortium, Stroud Water Research Center, and Millersville University. ITTIP is leading the effort in Virginia, chosen as one of five participating partnering states for this unique opportunity. The development of TES-MMW includes an interdisciplinary, place-based, problem-based, hands-on set of online resources, models, and tools aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (Achieve, 2013). California, Iowa, Kansas, and Pennsylvania are additional partner states in TES-MMW. The lessons for this research based opportunity are developed and integrated into an online platform for participating teachers to edit and modify to fit the needs for their varying grade level readability, rigor, and local watershed. Within the actual lessons, working computer models are used to simulate “suggested” changes in a selected watershed area to increase sustainability. Teachers received watershed “tracker” devices (bluetooth sensor) that can read and deliver real time data for students to record and collect about their local watershed, upload their data and compare it to the visualized data on the Watershed model embedded in their activities. During the professional development, VirAbove: Teachers explore the ginia teachers also provided feedback to the developing watershed model, trackers, and lessons. Longwood campus to find and record conservation In addition to integrating TES - MMW into their science classrooms this year, participractices for a TES-MMW pating teachers will also be taking two online courses, one in the fall and spring, and activity.
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In order to gain hands-on experiences with programming and connecting to subjects across the curriculum, teachers were given several challenges to complete during the workshop. The following is a link to a short video that highlights some of the activities conducted during the two days: https://youtu.be/eAIpwb9v_dw The teachers will have access to classroom sets of Finch Robots for integration into their classrooms. ITTIP staff looks forward to visiting the participants’ classrooms throughout the upcoming 2015-16 school year and hopes to share the successes and challenges of classroom integrations with the Finch Robot through pictures, videos, and teacher lesson plans on the ITTIP website. As an extension of this project, ITTIP will be offering a workshop on Saturday, October 24th at Longwood University for middle school students to learn about the Finch Robot (see page 6 for details).
ITTIP Monthly Newsletter
PI STEM II (continued) PISTEM II teachers will have access to classroom sets of Hummingbird Robots for integration into their classrooms. ITTIP staff looks forward to visiting the participants’ classrooms throughout the upcoming 2015-16 school year. In Spring 2016, PISTEM II participants will be sharing their problem-based unit plans with the Hummingbird Robots through pictures, videos, and teacher lesson plans which will be further shared on the ITTIP website (www.ittip.org). Teachers will also be participating in webinars throughout the school year focusing on STEM integration in language arts, as well as mathematics. The participating teachers were from Charles City, Chesterfield County, Franklin City, Lunenburg County, Mecklenburg County, Patrick County, Rockingham County, Williamsburg, and York County school divisions. The funding for this professional development was made possible through a State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV) grant and are part of Title II, Part A: Improving Teacher Quality State Grants. ITTIP was funded during the 2014-2015 school year through SCHEV for Problem-based Interdisciplinary STEM Learning, and because of the success of the first cohort were funded for a second cohort of teachers.
8th Annual STEM Learning Summit ITTIP at Longwood University is now accepting registration for this year’s 8th Annual STEM Learning Summit: Supporting Creativity and Innovation in the Classroom. This year’s summit will be Tuesday, September 22, from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm at Longwood University. The cost for attending is $25 and will include lunch. We are happy to announce that Don Wettrick, an educator and innovation consultant and educational speaker from Indianapolis, Indiana, will be the keynote speaker. He is the author of “Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level”. Don is passionate about helping students find their educational opportunities and providing them with the digital tools they need to give them a competitive edge. Other sessions throughout the day will focus on using problem-based learning in the classroom, STEM curriculum models, flipping the classroom, new technology tools, as well as an afternoon workshop by Don Wettrick for practical methods on bringing creativity and innovation into the classroom for administrators and educators. Educators and administrators interested in K-12 STEM should plan to attend. Space in limited so be sure to register here:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2015ITTIPsummit Registration for this event will be open until September 14, 2015.
TES-MMW (continued) have the opportunity to collaborate with teachers in the other partnering states. Next summer, ITTIP will be recruiting for year two of the project to include a new cohort of teachers across Virginia. Teachers from Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Hanover, Powhatan, Prince Edward, and Shenandoah Counties are participating in Cohort 1 of TES-MMW.
ITTIP Monthly Newsletter
Innovative Mathematics Partnership for Rural Elementary Schools (IMPRES) In August, elementary teachers joined for a week long face-to-face workshop at Virginia State University for Innovative Mathematics Partnership for Rural Elementary Schools (IMPRES). This opportunity is a collaborative partnership between Longwood University ITTIP, Virginia State University (VSU), Virginia Commonwealth University, and Brunswick and Sussex County school divisions. The week-long workshop was led by Dr. Patrice Waller, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Virginia State University, Mary-Beth Hull, Mathematics Specialist and consultant, and Dr. Yvonne Smith-Jones of Highly Effective Services. Through this Mathematics and Science Partnership grant (MSP) from the Virginia Department of Education, participating teachers will be receiving follow-up throughout the school year including observations and support from a mathematics coach, as well as six webinars presented by Stephanie Playton, ITTIPâ€™s STEM Learning Specialist. This is a three year grant, with intentions to recruit a new cohort of teachers for the 2016-17 school year. Left: Teachers participate in an activity to use in the classroom to support the understanding of number sense.
Right: Teachers practice using the instructional method, Concrete Representational-Abstract (CRA).
ITTIP Shares Nationally During Spring/ Summer Conferences Longwoodâ€™s ITTIP did some traveling this summer to share innovative and creative ways to integrate STEM into classrooms while also integrating computer science experiences. In June, Dr. Paula Leach, Director of ITTIP, participated in the ISTE 2015 conference in Philadelphia by facilitating a station in the Mobile Learning Network (MLN) with various STEM learning tools. In July, Stephanie Playton, STEM Learning Specialist, presented a session at the CSTA 2015 conference in Dallas on the Arduino Lily Pad. Left: Dr. Leach talks with Both Dr. Leach and Mrs. Playton look forward to sharing their educators about MLN learning with more educators through a session in the fall during tools. the Virginia Military Institute STEM Education Conference.
ITTIP Monthly Newsletter
This is the Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP) Summer 2015 newsletter.