Over 200 educators will be on campus on Monday, March 10, to learn, network, and have fun at the WPI STEM Education Center’s third annual AweSTEM! Educator Conference. Taking place from 4 to 6pm in the Rubin Campus Center Odeum, the popular event will draw K–12 teachers, administrators, curriculum developers, and others from throughout New England.
As its name implies, AweSTEM! celebrates and supports educators dedicated to inspiring students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). It provides a rare chance for educators of all levels to come together to share their experiences and to learn from researchers at WPI.
“I look forward to our AweSTEM! event each year,” says Martha Cyr, executive director of the STEM Education Center at WPI. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet and network with the teachers and education leaders who are dedicated to making a difference in K–12 STEM education. We are honored to host them on our campus and celebrate the good work they do.”
The event offers a casual, fair-like environment where participants can view and interact with presentations at 14 exhibition tables. About one-third of the exhibitors are teachers who will demonstrate examples of successful integrated STEM activities—initiatives that bridge STEM disciplines and integrate STEM concepts into other areas, such as using engineering design to enrich literacy activities. Additional exhibitors include national programs and professional development opportunities offered through WPI (Project Lead the Way, Boostrap, ASSISTments) and WPI teacher research activities and master’s degree programs.
In typical classroom fashion, AweSTEM! participants will also be asked to share their own ideas and will be rewarded for participation. They will be invited to write their reactions/responses to the thought, “I believe that integrated STEM…” on large bulletin boards and they may enter a raffle to win a gift basket by leaving feedback about the event.
About 25 school administrators will also attend a pre-event from 2 to 3:30pm, where they may try out hands-on examples of WPI professional development activities and learn about the philosophies that inspire WPI opportunities for teachers, such our founding belief in theory and practice.
BY JENNIFER WYGLINSKI
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