Author
ITEEA The Elementary STEM Journal, Vol. 24, Issue 4
PublisherInternational Technology and Engineering Educators Association, Reston, VA
ReleasedMay 1, 2020
Copyright@2020
The Elementary STEM Journal, Volume 24, Issue 4 - May, 2020

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From the ITEEA Elementary STEM Council President - Opportunities: Sharing Resources

From the ITEEA Elementary STEM Council President

Opportunities: Sharing Resources facemasks.jpg
Thomas Roberts

This issue’s theme is STEM is for ALL: Inclusive. While I like to think that we all strive to create inclusive learning environments, the current challenges of remote teaching and learning make this task even more difficult. The “digital divide” is more apparent than ever, as many schools and universities are delivering instruction online even as some students do not have the technology tools needed to access the materials. As we all figure out how to manage teaching and learning online, think about the following questions: How can I reach students who do not have reliable technology access? How can I incorporate assistive technology to reach students with a range of learning abilities? How can I engage different modalities to make instruction more meaningful to diverse students? Given that most students are at home with parents or guardians now, how can I incorporate students’ home cultures in lessons? I certainly do not have all of the answers; however, I have been incredibly moved by all of the people sharing resources, strategies, and tools to help make this transition work the best it can.

ITEEA’s Elementary STEM Council has shared resources through social media. Julie Sicks-Panus created “how-to” videos about creating pop-up books for her elementary STEM students. Tracy Young created a range of videos for at-home activities to support students. Tracy also shared some of her invaluable expertise in an article in this issue. Our members also showed the importance of making during the pandemic. Virginia Jones put her making skills to use to sew face masks (see photo above). Other STEM teachers have transformed their 3D printers from classroom tools to manufacturing personal protective equipment. This giving spirit and wealth of knowledge is what I like most about the Elementary STEM Council members. They aren’t just great educators; they’re great people who put their skills to use to help others.

As I recently transitioned into the role of President of the Elementary STEM Council, I’m fortunate to work alongside board members like Virginia, Julie, and Tracy. I’m also incredibly lucky to have worked with and learned from previous presidents, like Laura Hummell, Charlotte Holter, and, most recently, Kim Bradshaw. A professional community like the Elementary STEM Council is invaluable. We plan to provide more opportunities to share resources and engage with elementary STEM educators in the future. The 3rd annual Grand Design Challenge has been announced (details are available on page 2 of this issue). I hope you will consider engaging your students in this timely challenge and submit their work to this competition. We also are looking for energetic members to share their expertise with a larger audience. If you’re a member of the Elementary STEM Council, you’ll be receiving information on opportunities to join committees and on elections for a few positions on the board. I hope you will consider getting more involved with this talented group of elementary STEM professionals.

 

Thomas Roberts is co-field editor of The Elementary STEM Journal and a teacher educator and researcher at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He can be reached at otrober@bgsu.edu.