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Engineering is Elementary Transforms Kentucky Educator

April 16, 2015

In 2009, when University of Louisville professor Gary Rivoli asked Louisville's Tully Elementary School for volunteers to pilot a curriculum designed to engage children in STEM careers, Laura Keeling recalls, "All the teachers were sitting on their hands, we were that intimidated!" But for some reason she can't explain, she volunteered. The curriculum was Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) created by the Museum of Science, Boston via its National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®).

After trying just one EiE unit with her third graders, Keeling was hooked. Within a year she had moved into the job of science lab teacher, facilitating hands-on engineering for all 720 students at the school. "I've learned so much that people now sometimes ask me if I'm an engineer!" she says. "And it's all because of EiE."

She's the first to admit she wasn't always enthusiastic about STEM subjects. "I used to beg my teaching partner to teach science so I could teach social studies," she laughs. Now, she finds that her own path to STEM learning inspires teachers who attend her workshops. "They're anxious about teaching engineering until I explain, I was just like them," she says. "It's so funny that I didn't want to raise my hand. And now here I am, and it's so rewarding. I can't believe how it's transformed my teaching."

With Kentucky adopting the Next Generation Science Standards, Laura Keeling is in demand as an EiE professional development (PD) collaborator. Joining a national network of PD providers supporting schools and districts implementing EiE, she works with schools and districts in the Louisville region and Indiana.

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The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500   information@mos.org