2022 Chicago National Conference

July 21-23, 2022

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Grade Level



Session Type


FILTERS APPLIED:PreK - 5, Presentation, Using Inquiry-Based STEM to Facilitate Learning for ALL


Rooms and times subject to change.
4 results
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Thursday, July 21 • 2:20 PM - 3:20 PM

McCormick Place - W179b

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
STEM PBL in action
STEM PBL in action
Guiding questions
The Engineering Design Process/Journal Reflections
Projects VS PBL.docx
Why Is PBL Important_ARTICLE.pdf

STRAND: Using Inquiry-Based STEM to Facilitate Learning for ALL

Show Details

Participants will understand how to develop and effectively implement STEM curriculum units that include project based activities and performance based assessments. Participants will learn to help students answer complex questions and develop solutions for challenges and real-world problems. They will also assist students with extending and refining their acquired knowledge to routinely analyze and solve problems. By the end of this session: 1) Participants will gain a clear and coherent understanding of what a STEM PBL is and how it works. 2) Participants will be able to identify and create effective essential questions. 3) Participants will be able to identify and apply the components of a STEM PBL. 4) Understand how STEM PBL’s will impact instruction for participants and students. Agenda: What is PBL? Why is it important? How does a STEM PBL Work? How to effectively integrate journal reflections. Ways to Implement STEM PBL’s

Participants will learn how to effectively implement STEM PBL’s (Project Based Learning) by integrating the components of STEM and PBL in order to grow students' capacity for creativity, fun, and back-loaded learning in a STEM context.

Adero Carter (Clayton County Public Schools: Jonesboro, GA)

Creating K-6 STEM Classrooms That Embrace Science Inquiry: Helping Students Think and Work Like Scientists - Exploring, Asking Questions, and Seeking Sense-Making of Scientific Phenomena

Friday, July 22 • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

McCormick Place - W178a

STRAND: Using Inquiry-Based STEM to Facilitate Learning for ALL

Show Details

Science inquiry is a powerful process and learning environment that embraces exploration and sense-making, as students question phenomena and explore real world science/STEM. Inquiry is an “attitude” that seeks understanding and continually questions how our natural world works. Student achievement, engagement, and sense-making of phenomena, increase when students are taught in an instructional environment that embraces inquiry, where students are encouraged to ask questions, gather evidence, seek answers, and formulate explanations. Speaker will discuss the many varied ways that inquiry manifests itself in the elementary STEM classroom, including ways to increase participation of ELL’s. She will actively engage participants, as she shares strategies and lesson ideas that promote inquiry, and as she demonstrates effective questioning, modeling how to guide students in their own questioning and explorations, as they gather data, formulate their explanations, and draw conclusions. Speaker will emphasize the importance of ‘testing’ the ‘known’, as well as the ‘unknown’, so students can validate their processes and thinking. Creating environments of inclusivity, collaboration, cooperation, and sharing of ideas will be emphasized. Participants will embrace the power that inquiry offers: content, strategies, process, engagement, and the desire to ask, answer, and understand scientific phenomena. This session will help teachers establish effective classroom practices, guiding students in understanding the ways scientists think and study our natural world, as teachers nurture students’ sustained curiosity and love of science/STEM. Handouts.

Attendees will learn how to create STEM classroom environments that fully embrace and create the inquiry process: emphasizing explorations, the formulation of questions to guide student inquiry and their understanding of scientific phenomena, the importance of collaborative sense-making and assuring the inclusivity of ALL students, the importance of assisting ELL’s with language accessibility, and the fulfillment of learner curiosity as part of the sense-making process and as a trajectory for guiding their continual learning.

Donna Knoell (Educational and Technology Consultant: Prairie Village, KS)

Engaging Young Children in Everyday Sensemaking through Project-Based Learning

Saturday, July 23 • 9:20 AM - 10:20 AM

McCormick Place - W179a

STRAND: Using Inquiry-Based STEM to Facilitate Learning for ALL

Show Details

Participants will learn how to engage young children in STEM-focused project-based learning that encourages them to make sense of everyday phenomena. Through an inquiry-based interdisciplinary approach, even our youngest learners can pose their own questions, develop models, and plan their own investigations. During this presentation, participants will view an example early childhood STEM-focused project-based learning experience where young children are engaging in sensemaking of an everyday phenomenon. They will also explore the elements of project-based learning including how to launch a unit, engage young children in research using a variety of mediums and through field work, and organize a public exhibit of learning with their school community. Participants will brainstorm potential everyday phenomena for projects and plan activities where young children can engage in hands-on sensemaking. All attendees will leave this session with the tools they need to confidently lead an inquiry-based, STEM project that is developmentally-appropriate for young children.

Participants will learn how to utilize use everyday phenomena as the focus for STEM-focused project-based learning.

Ryan Kurada (Sonoma County Office of Education: Santa Rosa, CA)

Supporting SEL and meeting NGSS Standards through Citizen Science and Schoolyard Investigations

Saturday, July 23 • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

McCormick Place - W181c

STRAND: Using Inquiry-Based STEM to Facilitate Learning for ALL

Show Details

Discover how citizen science and inquiry can shape the STEM leaders of our future! Participating in citizen science provides a unique and accessible way to facilitate student science investigations and STEM learning. Students engaged in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's citizen-science projects have been asking and answering their own questions about birds for more than a decade, conducting original experiments and observational studies. Questions range from “why do the kinds of birds we see change during the year?” to “why aren’t we seeing more birds at our school and what can we do to get more to visit?” By engaging in citizen science and investigations, students become scientists and meet NGSS Standards while exercising social and emotional learning (SEL) skills. They make observations, generate their own questions, collect data, and get access to online datasets they can query. Along the way, they collaborate with peers, learn to communicate effectively, engage in arguments from evidence, and reflect on successes and challenges. These hands-on science experiences give all students authentic opportunities to build life-long skills while meeting science standards, especially those related to developing students’ science process skills.

Participants will explore free resources to scaffold citizen-science-inspired inquiry projects and discover how outdoor learning and inquiry projects can support social and emotional learning.

Kelly Schaeffer (Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Ithaca, NY)

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