We have ONE more STEAM in the PARK event this summer but we are already seeing the impact in the classrooms. Karisa Schwanekamp, a 4th grade teacher from Plainfield, Indiana, has been engaging her students with our National Park Challenges for 2 years. She has also been working closely with Keep IN (Indiana) Learning and they love her message. She has branded and created YaySTEM! with a few more teachers in her district to inspire and engage students. Her team includes, Dayna a first grade teacher in the district and Elaine, a BioMed PLTW teacher from the HS that she has partnered with in the classroom.
Before I set out for my adventures at Crater Lake National Park, I was able to take my students on a virtual field trip through Expeditions and Education so they could experience Crater Lake as well. While I was in Crater Lake, my students were working on a STEM challenge in the classroom. Their task was to design a humane trap to help protect the endemic Mazama newt from the invasive crayfish. While I was away, I was able to FaceTime the class and they were just in awe of the beauty that is Crater Lake. Now that I am back, I have been able to share so much more with them about this real problem Crater Lake National Park is facing. My students will continue their designs, create a piece of technical writing to explain their prototype, and then present to National Park Rangers to give them ideas on how to solve this problem. I am so thankful for Expeditions and Education and this chance to bring real-world problem solving into my classroom.
Karisa is graciously sharing her presentation on Expeditions in Education with all of us. Thank you!
Check out their prototypes and the smiles. All the smiles!
Engineers in the making...