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Regents' Center Delivers Professional Learning at Department of Education's Learning Supports Conference

Teachers can support their young learners' development of conflict resolution and executive function skills through STEM experiences. Last Friday, March 2, 2018, Beth Van Meeteren and Sherri Peterson, Director and Program Coordinator of the Iowa Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education provided a day-long session to Iowa teachers at the Department of Education's Learning Supports Conference. Participants learned that by embracing conflict and supporting children in conflict resolution, they assist their children's ability to take another's perspective. Perspective taking is essential in the practices of science and engineering, within problem solving in mathematics, and in the act of writing for an audience, or reading from an author's perspective. Examples of STEM experiences were presented to participants as they considered how to design the physical, socio-moral, and intellectual environments within their classroom to facilitate children's investigations into what is in the world and how it works. In the process of these investigations, children have the potential to develop leadership behaviors. Click here for a pdf of the first section of the session. For more information, please contact Beth VanMeeteren at beth.vanmeeteren@uni.edu.

 

Ramps and Pathways is Selected for a Second Year in the Iowa STEM Scale Up!

Click on this link to apply: https://iowastem.gov/2018-19-Scale-Up-Application

Iowa STEM Advisory Council

 Last year, we were honored to provide nearly 300 preschool, kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers a set of unit blocks, track, and professional learning on Ramps & Pathways across the state of Iowa. We are pleased to announce we have been selected as a Scale Up program for a second year! This program is unique in that it is research-based and doesn't just show how the materials kit works, but facilitates teachers' understanding of what STEM is and their role in facilitating it. 

One awardee told us, "My instructional coach applied for the grant and asked if I was interested. At this point, I was neutral about it. I didn’t have any background with it. I thought, it’s STEM. It couldn’t hurt. Then at the first training, I saw that I was the only second grade teacher. I was thinking, is this for me??? After the training and receiving the materials, I had a complete shift in my thinking. I witnessed all of the wonderful connections and learning happening in my room. I went from when will I ever find time for this, to becoming a part of each day! So glad that I stumbled into this opportunity!"

 

Ramps & Pathways is an integrative STEM activity that fosters children's understanding of force and motion and challenges spatial thinking as they design and engineer ramp and pathway systems to move objects from one point to another. Educators receiving awards will attend two full days of professional learning and materials to implement this activity in their educational settings. Thank you to the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council for this opportunity! Visit https://iowastem.gov/2018-19-Scale-Up-Application to find us on the menu of scale up programs and a link to apply.