38 area teachers participate in STEM professional development

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The Great Plains STEM Education Center (GPSEC) at Valley City State University recently provided five days of professional development for area K-12 teachers June 4-8 as part of its Implementing Integrative STEM Education in the Classroom grant project.Thirty-eight teachers from 12 area school districts participated in the project, which was primarily funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership (MSP) and facilitated by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. Participating districts included Barnes County North, Central Cass, Edgeley, Enderlin, Ellendale, Fort Ransom, Griggs County Central, Kensal, Litchville-Marion, Lisbon, Maple Valley and McClusky.The professional development sessions included a wide variety of integrative STEM curriculum training and experiences, including:

  • Engineering Design Process
  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Family Engineering
  • Engineering is Elementary
  • Picture Perfect Science/STEM Lessons
  • Building Math
  • Breakout EDU
  • LEGO Robotics
  • Biomimicry
  • Coding apps and gadgets (e.g., Scratch, Code.org, Sphero, Ozobot, 3-D pens)
  • Green Screen Technology
The sessions were primarily taught by Jamie Wirth, Ph.D., GPSEC director, and Gary Ketterling, Ph.D., GPSEC education coordinator. Other instructors included Jamie Paurus, VCSU assistant professor of computer systems and software engineering; Gretchen Peterson, West Fargo Liberty Middle School; Lauren Sako, Gackle-Streeter Public Schools; and Ashley Krinke, Ashley Mickelson and Jodi Zieske, Northern Cass Public Schools.This was the third and final year of the MSP grant funding. Wirth indicated that the project was an enormous success: “The feedback we have received from the participating teachers has been overwhelmingly positive.” According to Wirth, several veteran teachers indicated that this project was the best professional development they had ever experienced. Others commented that they cannot wait for school to start in the fall so they can implement what they have learned in their classrooms.To learn more about GPSEC, visit stem.vcsu.edu or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Great-Plains-STEM-Education-Center-1653992708190554.