2022 Chicago National Conference

July 21-23, 2022

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FILTERS APPLIED:No Strand, Technical and Vocational Education


Rooms and times subject to change.
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Effective STEM Partnerships Enhance Student Learning

Friday, July 22 • 10:40 AM - 11:40 AM

McCormick Place - W193a

STRAND: No Strand

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In this workshop we will demonstrate for teachers how easy it is to form lasting, interactive partnerships with corporations, nonprofits, and local community organizations and discuss how these partnerships create a community of STEM learning that allows students to connect their learning with the real world. We will model a variety of direct connections between classroom science concepts and corporate processes and bring awareness to the power of establishing successful connections between organizational systems and careers. Field-based, first hand experiences in forming partnerships will be shared in an open discussion that helps educators identify the numerous benefits for both learners and partners that are brought by incorporating potential partners within the classroom. We will provide a systems-based approach for how to research potential partners, develop effective relationships, and reduce potential feelings of uncertainty on behalf of both the educator(s) and the non educator(s). Additionally, we will explore the power of perspectives as we highlight how non educators learn the value of their shared time, experience, and knowledge with students. We will look at tried and true, interactive presentations made by corporate, nonprofit, and community partners and discuss the importance of student feedback that is later provided to the partners.

Attendees will learn how to establish meaningful corporate and nonprofit partnership opportunities, the benefits of partnering, and the natural connections that exist between a variety of science concepts and corporate systems that promote student engagement and real world learning.

Debby Nelson (Rotolo Middle School: Batavia, IL), Elizabeth Kaleta (John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School: Aurora, IL)

Engaging with Your STEM Ecosystem Through After-School Programs: Lessons from Science Olympiad

Friday, July 22 • 2:20 PM - 3:20 PM

McCormick Place - W179b

STRAND: No Strand

Show Details

A challenge that STEM education presents to educators is how to stay current in an ever-evolving field to accurately represent and engage their students with new topics, activities, and careers. Too often STEM teachers become locked-in on a set of topics, activities, and careers because of the resources and opportunities to which they have access. After-school programs, and their ability to foster partnerships within a school’s larger STEM ecosystem, are one mechanism to open up STEM programs within schools to new topics, activities, and careers while offering avenues for professional growth and learning for the classroom teacher. By introducing the Science Olympiad program and the strategies used by our school participants for over three decades to build partnerships, connect to their STEM ecosystem, and expand learning we intend to help attendees draw parallels to their STEM ecosystems and their after-school programs. Building off of this information, attendees will analyze and discuss ways their STEM ecosystem can contribute to their STEM program, develop approaches for asking ecosystem members for support, and recognize opportunities to grow their STEM program through after-school programs. The session will close with a discussion of attendees’ specific challenges and issues ensuring attendees leave with actionable solutions.

The big takeaway from this session will attendees examining their STEM ecosystem to identify potential partners who align with their programming and can support student learning.

John Loehr (Science Olympiad: Oakbrook Terrace, IL)

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