Sunday, March 2, 2014

Spotlight on STEM at UNI!

When I heard that I was supposed to attend a couple sessions at the "Spotlight on STEM Day" for my Creating Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments class, I wasn't very excited. Last Friday, UNI hosted a small technology-related conference called Spotlight on STEM. We were instructed to go to a different building to sit in on a couple presentations. I was expecting an older person giving a lecture-type presentation, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that we got to listen to (and participate in) a presentation led by kids!


Retrieved from http://www.uni.edu/its/labs/studio-it
I sat in on a session in the afternoon called "Human Body: My body! ALIVE!" which was a presentation about an interdisciplinary unit that covered, you guessed it, the human body! An elementary teacher from Decorah, Iowa, and a few kids from her class presented about the unit: they spoke about what they did and what they learned and how they went about it. They even had us stand up and sing and dance with them! We got to do "The Skeletal Pokey" which is quite similar to the Hokey Pokey, but focuses on bones. It was very cool to listen to a teacher speak about a lesson while her students were right there with her, reinforcing the fact that the lesson was engaging and COOL! Her lesson incorporated science, math, technology and physical activity; it was a very wide variety of topics that were brought together and made a lot of sense!

I really enjoyed the presentations at the Spotlight day at UNI, however I wish I could have seen something targeted a little more toward my age-level that I want to teach. Listening to the kids was great, but I felt like I didn't walk away with any information or resources I can take with me after I leave UNI. However, just because it doesn't apply to my Spanish specialties doesn't mean that it isn't a great opportunity for other pre-service teachers! A large majority of my CTELE class is Elementary-focused, so I hope they gained a lot from participating in Spotlight on STEM Day!

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