STEM Educators Summit Inspires NH Teachers

Hit the professional development jackpot and get up close with genetics, underwater robots and more on Jan. 26
Teacher helps student with STEM

New Hampshire teachers can hit the professional development jackpot this year—and get up close and personal with underwater robots, microcontrollers and more—when they attend the 4th annual STEM Educators Summit at the University of New Hampshire on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The summit features a full day of 16 engaging, innovative and hands-on workshops that will provide teachers with practical approaches to STEM education.

"I am looking forward to this," says science teacher Scott Goelzer of Coe-Brown Northwood Academy, who not only attended STEM Summits in the past but is presenting in 2019. "It's always exciting to see teachers sharing and learning about new technologies."

Scott, along with his wife Joanne Goelzer will be leading a workshop called "Introduction to Arduino Microcontrollers," about maker education for grades 3-12 that uses small single circuit computers to teach students about electronics, programming and computer science. In this workshop, teachers will learn what microcontrollers are and what they can do. They will also wire some basic circuits using their laptop. No electronics experience is expected.

Another innovative workshop this year is "Personal Genomics in the Classroom," led by UNH Manchester professor Sarah Prescott. She will show how to teach the principles of genetics in a high school classroom using the results of several popular personal genomics consumer tests such as 23andme and Ancestry.com.

"An Introduction to the SeaPerch Program" will showcase the popular UNH underwater robotics program that empowers students in grades 5-12 to build an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The program utilizes low-cost, easily accessible materials and is supported by a marine engineering curriculum and plenty of local expertise.

Student launching a SeaPerch underwater remote operated vehicle
SeaPerch brings out the engineer in students. 

Continuing on the ocean theme, NH Sea Grant’s Assistant Director for Education and Extension educator Mark Wiley is leading "Coastal Field Trips from the Classroom?" He will demonstrate how teachers can excite their students about marine science happening right in New Hampshire without leaving the school grounds. "You don’t need to go to the ocean to learn about marine science," says Wiley. "The concepts of marine observation and data collection can be taught right in the classroom in a way that is relevant and fun for students."

Keynote Speaker

This year’s keynote speaker is Marina Umaschi Bers, who is a professor and chair at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University, as well as an adjunct computer science professor. She will speak about her research on the design and study of innovative learning technologies to promote children’s positive development.

The STEM Educators Summit takes place Saturday, Jan. 26, 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. at the University of New Hampshire Durham campus. Registration is $30 for the day. Parking is free. Registration by Saturday, Jan. 19.

 

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Anna Boudreau
State Advisory Council Chair, Natural Resources Steward and NH Coverts Cooperator