PCS Teachers and Specialists Participate in STEM Workshop 
This June, teachers and technology specialists from Putnam County Schools participated in the 2017 West Virginia STEM Professional Learning Workshop. Sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education in partnership with the June Harless Center of Marshall University, the inaugural STEM workshop was developed to help increase access to STEM education in schools across the state. Teachers attended courses, lectures and trainings all in preparation for becoming STEM leaders in their schools.

Poca Middle School was chosen as one of the participating schools at the workshop and as such sent several teachers and the principal to gain insight and instruction in STEM education. The school plans to provide students cross-curricular learning opportunities that incorporate real world challenges, utilize math and science skills, introduce engineering and use technology in pursuit of answers and solutions. The teachers who attended are excited to bring to Poca Middle inventive ways of providing STEM instruction to their students.

Putnam County Schools was also represented at the workshop in the form of trainers and presenters. On Tuesday of the sessions, David Miller, retired tech ed teacher, Roy White, George Washington Middle School tech ed teacher and Gary Sayre, Hurricane Middle School tech ed teacher presented a discussion on their involvement with STEM. They showed videos, reviewed the equipment they use in the classroom, talked of industry partners and shared student experiences beyond the classroom. Teachers who attended were given first-hand knowledge of successful STEM implementation and the impact it has on students.

Later on Tuesday, Winfield Middle School science teacher Erika Klose presented a session entitled Refining Earth “Misperceptions” Using Interactive Models. She demonstrated to her audience 15 GeoInquiries that allow students to manipulate real data that has led to an understanding of earth. The teachers in attendance walked away from the session with strategically selected lessons to use with their students. Erika’s practical classroom tips and experiences that she shared and demonstrated helped the attending teachers gain insight into ways they, too, could utilize the activities and information with their students.

On Thursday of the STEM workshop week, Putnam County Schools computer curriculum specialists Dan McKneely and Kim Sigman trained middle and high school science and math teachers in the use of Microsoft Excel 2016 and discussed its role with STEM projects. In the hands-on workshop, teachers were exposed first to the basics of MS Excel and then were taught how spreadsheets are used to calculate and analyze data. Those in attendance were walked through the process of entering data, applying mathematical formulas and creating charts. The trainers shared their real-world experiences with the teachers in helping them grasp the many uses MS Excel has with STEM education.

Putnam County Schools is proud to have participated in the first WV STEM Learning Workshop and hopes to continue its narration of being in the forefront of education and learning. Providing students with more exposure to math, science, engineering and technology activities makes for stronger, more independent learners. This STEM workshop has given our teachers the tools to do just that.
Posted by kim.sigman On 27 June, 2017 at 9:37 AM  

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