STEM For All featured using professional development from NSTA’s Picture-Perfect STEM in a train-the-trainer model. Junior and senior Lake Campus early and elementary education students were given the opportunity to attend a one-day workshop that utilized the NSTA Picture-Perfect STEM series. These resources provided training on how to integrate the use of picture books and the 5E learning cycle (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate) while students participated in hands-on STEM activities.
Pre-service teachers then took their training and knowledge and presented during three sessions to educators from Mercer County at their annual Professional Learning Conference in October. In addition to presenting at the Professional Learning Conference, senior students have been showcasing their professional development in their field experience in schools all over the area.
This training helped our students gain confidence in their ability to successfully integrate STEM into their future classrooms while incorporating high-interest literature through picture books.
The model of train-the-trainer will allow this project to be sustainable for years. Each year the senior education students will train the junior education students. This allows our students to collaborate with each other and form professional connections.
Along with funds provided by Students First, the WOEF Board and the Mercer County Civic Foundation also provided funding for the picture books, allowing our students to have all the resources they need to be successful in their experiences.
A few quotes from the ECE Class of 2020
"During the presentation this quote was given, 'I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that do not work.' I just feel like this will be a great message to send to our future students—to never give up no matter how many times you do not succeed. Succeeding is all about continuing to give it your all. If we give up, we will never know what we could have done." — Abigail Fullenkamp
"I think is important to share with not only our fellow educators, but also parents of our kiddos. The presenters stressed, 'don’t stop reading to students just because they can read to themselves.' ” — Katie Hemmert
"I really loved when the presenters said 'hands on, minds on.' This is a thought I’d love to always hold onto because it’s so true! Your kiddos won’t learn a thing unless they are truly engaged in their learning. As teachers, this is our responsibility to make sure they are learning to the best of their abilities!" — Katie Weitzel
"It’s already impacted my teaching style! The way they modeled the 5E instructional method and applied it to science makes it fun and interactive. They make the learning real and meaningful for the students. The foundational skills they learn during these lessons will help them in their academic and work future!" — Allison Evers
"I came into this training feeling insecure about teaching science. It has never been my favorite subject, and I struggled to generate fun, engaging science lessons for my students. Authors Emily and Karen and the training I received from Picture-Perfect STEM at the Lake Campus changed my entire outlook on science. Not only did they provide us with ideas for certain lessons and standards, but they gave us a way to shape science lessons using the 5E model so all students could be engaged. I left this training feeling confident about teaching science, and I am ready to apply the knowledge gained in my classroom." — Caitlin Moody
“Picture books, both fiction and nonfiction, are more likely to hold our attention and engage us than reading dry, formulaic text. 'Engagement leads to remembering what is read, acquiring knowledge, and enhancing understanding.' This quote supports the Picture-Perfect STEM Framework of using picture books to assist in teaching lessons. It also gives me an excuse to buy more picture books" — Kelsey Wertz
"The Picture-Perfect STEM training we received from Emily and Karen has changed my approach as to how I will teach science. The training taught me the value of using the 5E model along with picture books and STEM in order to create an all-encompassing lesson that will allow all types of students to learn. Immediately after the Picture-Perfect STEM training, I applied the model into my science lessons and the students responded very well. I will continue to incorporate the Picture-Perfect STEM training into my teaching as I move forward as a student teacher and future educator." — Nikki Heckman
"The Picture-Perfect STEM training was a great opportunity that I am so glad I got to be a part of. The training provides teachers with plenty of resources to make science fun and interactive for their students. The main takeaway I had from this training is centered around the 5E model. This training explained the process of the 5E model and taught us as educators how to use/modify the lessons provided by Picture-Perfect STEM to benefit and meet the needs of our students. Now that I have a complete understanding of the 5E model, I can implement this process into my daily teaching. The most important step in the 5E model is to Engage students by letting them Explore before the content is taught to them." — Caileigh Kirtley
"The opportunity to participate in Picture-Perfect STEM training gave us resources and strategies to teach science and expand beyond the lessons in the Picture-Perfect books. I was able to take the research-based advice from this training and apply it to my science teaching in general. One of the great aspects of Picture-Perfect STEM is the ability to ease into it. Implementation in the classroom can seem overwhelming, but applying the strategies taught to any science lesson is an easy improvement we can make to our teaching immediately. There were so many impactful lessons to be taken away from this training, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity." — Megan VanSkyock
A few quotes from the EED Class of 2021
"Picture-Perfect STEM showed me how easily I can incorporate STEM into lessons and create more hands-on activities!" — Ashley Broering
"Picture-Perfect STEM training has not only helped me become a better student, it has helped prepare me for my future classroom. I am glad I got this great experience to work with kids, doing what I love!" — Paige Clune