Educators Share Lessons at National Symposium
October 04, 2010
The Museum brought together 30 educators from across the country June 3 and 4 to share what they've learned in trying to introduce a new elementary curriculum, Engineering is Elementary® (EiE), in classrooms nationwide.
After tackling two of the newest design challengesdesigning a solar cooker and a submersibleparticipants had the opportunity to share what they were working on and learn about other efforts. For example, fifth grade teacher Janice Rickey from Wilmington, North Carolina, shared her experiences at the Rachel Freeman School of Engineering, where mostly African American students from 19 different schools had trouble adapting to the new magnet school's structured environment. But engineering put the students on a level, "learning-by-doing" field. Discovering that engineers learn from failure, the kids created solutions to engineering challenges that became models for the class. This year, the 5th graders' science test scores jumped from 45% proficiency in 2009 to 83%.
In addition, educators at universities, museums, and professional development centers in 14 other states discussed their efforts to introduce the curriculum to teachers; to test, research, and adopt it at the school or district level; and to experiment with the materials in out-of-school settings. Participants found the networking experience very valuable and look forward to attending the next symposium slated for fall 2011.
As of June 2010 EiE had reached over 20,000 teachers and 1.18 million students nationwide