Learning Sessions, Innovation Summit 2015


How a Robot Built a Community

This session will highlight what communities, business partners, and schools can accomplish when they all work together.  Stratford STEM Magnet High School students will be in attendance to show off their competition robot, built by high school engineering students with the assistance of business partners and the community. Students will demonstrate how the business and community involvement led them to build the robot and compete in the robotic challenges, and show off how their robot functions!

Participants will gain an understanding of working toward long-term involvement from the community with developing relationships, and the first-steps involved in building these partnerships.

Dr. Janet Wallace, Academy Principal
Stratford STEM Magnet High School

Dr. Jennifer Berry, Academy  Coach
Stratford STEM Magnet High School


The E in STEM: Incorporating the Engineering Design Process in the Classroom

Engineering offers students an outstanding medium for hypothesizing, brainstorming, and testing solutions to real-world problems—something they will be doing the rest of their lives. Thankfully, there are ample resources for teaching problem solving using science and engineering-based subject matter. This session will explore how engineering concepts can be incorporated into all subject areas and how the Engineering Design Process (EDP) may be used in the classroom.

Dr. Sally Pardue, Director
Millard Oakley STEM Center at Tennessee Tech
Upper Cumberland Rural STEM Initiative


Little Toys = Big Ideas: Using Everyday Materials Consistently Over Time to Develop Content Fluency

“Little Toys = Big Ideas” will demonstrate that engaging STEM learners can literally be child’s play.  Participants will experience how simple activities can be used across elementary and middle grade levels to demonstrate math and science concepts. Elementary students who learn about how mass affects speed can take that prior knowledge into a similar activity designed for middle school students.  Middle school students will engage in an activity to demonstrate Newton’s Laws and how they relate to math concepts of proportionality and inverse and direct relationships.  Using their prior experiences with the materials and concepts provides students the foundation to build their new knowledge at a higher level.

Participants will collaborate with colleagues from across the state to develop ideas for their own students and walk away with a plan to use in their own classroom.

Amanda S. Pullin, 7th Grade STEM Science Teacher
West Creek Middle School

Kathy Young, Academic Coach
West Creek Middle School


Making STEM Affordable

Integrating STEM in the classroom doesn’t have to cost a fortune! This session will introduce educators to low-cost, inquiry-based STEM lessons that can be conducted in the regular classroom setting with everyday items. Participants will also learn where to look for grants and other financial assistance for the STEM classroom and how easy it can be to write a grant for the classroom.

Participants will learn how to design STEM classroom challenges with inexpensive, common items, and will walk away from the session better prepared to write their first classroom grant.

Keri Randolph, Vice President for Learning
Chattanooga Public Education Foundation
Southeast Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub


Using Google in the Classroom

Learn how to use the many Google online tools in your classroom and school:  Create a paperless classroom with Google docs. Simplify communication and workflow by adding classroom and assignment management features to Google Apps. Group and sort email by classroom in Gmail. Generate a calendar for each class and share it with students and parents through Google Calendar. Create a google site for your course syllabus.  Make a private Google community to share and discuss information. …and much more!

Dr. Jason Beach, Professor of Technology
Tennessee Technological University


Introduction to College Ready Math

College Ready Math embeds formative assessment teaching practices while using rigorous and real-world math problems. Lessons are built to surface how students think about math concepts. The result is engaged students who are discussing and debating math and re-energized teachers who are inspired by the changes they see in students.

Participants will walk away from the College Ready Math session with lessons you can use tomorrow, an understanding of the theory behind the lessons, and information about how other teachers have collaborated to implement College Ready Math.

Dr. Stephanie Ogden, Dean of R&D, Math Department Chair
L&N STEM Academy

Kelly Gaier Evans, STEM Education Specialist
Battelle Education


Integrating Career Awareness in the Classroom through Technology

Learning Blade® introduces students to STEM technologies and career opportunities through an entertaining game-based format. The session will demonstrate the system and discuss how it has been used in-school and after-school nationwide to effectively improve STEM career awareness and academic skills. In this session you will get to try the online system and also accompanying classroom exercises designed to complement the online lessons.

Participants will learn the importance of awareness and self-efficacy of STEM careers in increasing student participation in the STEM workforce; will see how career awareness can integrate with and reinforce academic skills development; and will experience interactive classroom exercises that put students in the roles of several STEM careers.

Sheila Boyington, President
Thinking Media / Learning Blade

Dr. Dane Boyington, CTO
Thinking Media / Learning Blade


Introduction to Project/Problem Based Learning

Project/problem based learning (referred to as PBL) is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges, simultaneously developing cross-curriculum skills while working in small collaborative groups. Because PBL is filled with active and engaged learning, it inspires students to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they are studying.  This session will explore how schools and business partners can work together to create these learning challenges for students based on real-world problems from their own community!

Dr. Tony Donen, Founding Principal
STEM School Chattanooga

Sandy Watkins, Principal in Residence
Tennessee STEM Innovation Network


STEM from the District Level:  Built for Sustainability

This session will discuss how CMCSS has made their STEM vision become a reality as they strategically designed a program to sustain itself through low costs, capacity building, and stakeholder engagement.  This session will focus on visioning, plan implementation, building staff capacity, accountability, and community support.

Participants will learn how to develop a STEM vision and create a plan to make it a reality, how to design STEM staff development that will build capacity, how to design an accountability system for district and school level personnel, and how to create awareness, understanding, and buy-in from the community.

Dr. B. J. Worthington, Director of Schools
Clarksville-Montgomery County  School System


Moving Innovative STEM Leadership Strategies into Real School Settings

Creating a school culture that supports STEM learning requires school leaders to think and act in new ways.  This session will focus on building-level leadership strategies designed to impact teacher practices and student achievement.

Aimee Kennedy, Vice President for Education, STEM Learning and Philanthropy
Battelle Education

Becky Ashe, Founding Principal
L&N STEM Academy


Finding the Right STEM Pathway for Your School

This session will provide an overview of available STEM courses, programs of study, and recommendations from the Tennessee Department of Education on implementing a strong STEM pathway in your school. Come to learn more about new and revised middle school and high school courses, policy changes you can make in your district to promote STEM opportunities for students, and available training and materials to support your teachers.

Casey Haugner Wrenn, Executive Director of Student Success
Tennessee Department of Education, Division of College and Career Readiness


STEM College and Career Preparation in the Early Grades

Learn the “top 10” ways STEM can be implemented at the early grades.  Get excited about involving young learners through problem solving strategies, the engineering design process, family engagement events, and college and career awareness!

Participants will walk away with a better understanding of what STEM can look like in the early grades and how to integrate STEM through grade-level standards.

Catherine A. Jones, Principal
Prescott South Elementary STEM Platform School

Kattie Nash, STEM Encore Teacher
Prescott South Elementary STEM Platform School


Building Excitement for STEM through Teacher Leaders who Ignite Problem Based Learning

STEM isn’t just the isolated content areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – it’s a school-wide and district-wide way of teaching and learning. This session will show participants how one school system developed the roles of STEM Innovators, STEM coaches, and teacher leaders of all content areas who ignite project-based learning across curricula and grade levels in every school in the district. Participants will learn how teachers from multiple disciplines, such as art, music, social studies, English, math, science, world languages, elementary classrooms, preschool, and more are leading cross curricular projects that span content areas, involve the community and create excitement throughout the system.

Participants will learn how to personalize STEM to their own contexts and how to find resources for beginning project-based learning in their own districts and schools.

Amber Godbee, Vice Principal and Head of the Strategic Innovation Committee
Oak Ridge High School

Dr. Tracey Beckendorf-Edou
Supervisor of Teaching and Learning
Oak Ridge Schools


Facilitating Planning Sessions for STEM Curriculum Integration

Trace the planning and development of an integrated curriculum project for STEM courses by exploring the steps for each stage of planning and outline the roles and responsibilities of the teachers, administrator, and academic coach (where applicable).

Participants will receive strategies and resources to address common responses or problems that arise in collaboration within a teacher team and develop a STEM project that includes more than two courses (i.g. CTE course, math, science, ELA).

Christi Fordham, Assistant Principal
Kenwood High School- Clarksville Montgomery County

Keith Parker, Academic Coach
Kenwood High School- Clarksville Montgomery County


The Power of Partnerships:  Getting Started

Learn how an urban STEM school engages community partners to expand STEM offerings and experiences to scholars.  Get new ideas for how to implement programs and events that leverage your community resources.  You will learn about Bailey’s STEM Elective Program, Day of Discovery Program with the STEM high school, and our STEM and Arts Showcases, as well as how we work with Communities in Schools to develop relationships with organizations.  Find out how our partnerships have resulted in a student-created Maker Space, a new professional theater, a teacher rejuvenation space, free STEM summer camps at our school, an Art2STEM club, and an outdoor classroom being built this Spring.  This is also a work-session – bring your laptop.  You will network with colleagues in your region and leave with a list of partners you intend to contact.

Participants will learn how elementary, middle, and high school can work together to form a STEM pathway, how a STEM Elective Program can engage community partners, and how to plan a STEM and Arts Showcase event.

Julie Hasfjord, STEM Instructional Leader
Bailey STEM Magnet Middle Prep