Free Workshop Trains Teachers on Developing STEM Lessons

DRK12 Robotics website

This month, New York University's Tandon School of Engineering is putting on a free workshop for local middle school teachers on developing STEM lessons in the life sciences, physical sciences and mathematics. The two-day DRK12 Robotics program will focus on the use of robotics and engineering design practices in hands-on lessons that align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and 5E Instructional Model.

Workshop content has been developed by New York City teachers who worked with NYU Tandon instructors to incorporate robotics into their classrooms, and who are experienced in LEGO EV3 coding and creating three-dimensional NGSS lessons, according to information on the program website. Lessons and activities were created under the National Science Foundation's Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK12) project, a program seeking to "significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of STEM education innovations and approaches."

Goals for the workshop include:

  • "Developing and refining curricula that promote project-based, hands-on, instruction to help students learn, understand, and apply underlying science and math content while doing age-appropriate robotics activities";
  • "Deepening teachers' technical, pedagogical, and content knowledge, contextualized in and reinforced through robotics design experiences";
  • "Fostering teachers' skills and attitudes for integrating robotics-based learning in the required science and math classes";
  • "Enabling teachers to use their students' interest in robotics to engage them to learn the required science and math content"; and
  • "Using robotics as a means to expose teachers to tools, techniques, and models of authentic engineering design."

Participants will also receive ongoing support from a professional learning community of their peers.

The workshop is available in two sessions: July 23-24 and July 30-31. To be eligible, applicants must be a science, math or CTE middle school teacher working in New York City and neighboring areas; previous experience with the LEGO EV3 kits is preferred. For more information, go to the NYU Tandon website.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.