Tech leads STEM education field again
Thirty trainees from 16 states met on the Louisiana Tech campus recently for a special weekend institute to help strengthen and empower STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) teachers. The STEM Center for Training and Learning (CTL) staff from the International Technology and Engineering Education Association (ITEEA) met with the trainees for the Engineering by Design (EbD) Authorized Trainer Institute. Trainees in the 11th-grade course, Advanced Design Applications, tested their underwater robots in the Lambright Sports and Wellness Center pool, and trainees in the Engineering Design senior capstone course completed robotics challenges using VEX and Arduino equipment. The three-day meeting based in the Woodard Hall Think Tank was the largest of its kind ever, anywhere. Tech’s SciTEC Center in the College of Education holds Louisiana’s only formal partnership with the ITEEA group and is able to provide professional development, curriculum access, and national training to STEM teachers in our state. “The rich networking experience with educators and professional stakeholders from across the country allowed us to strengthen and expand our collaboration with ITEEA as we develop ways to extend engineering and technology resources in Louisiana,” Cathi Cox-Boniol, ACHIEVE Coordinator for Lincoln Parish Schools who also serves as Louisiana Director for the ITEEA Engineering by Design Consortium. “As the Lincoln Parish team worked through the weekend, we were able to identify a multitude of ways that our training will strengthen our own professional practice, introduce colleagues to new content and teaching strategies, and bolster the implementation of our state’s new science standards.” “We were honored to host the ITEEA national meeting this month and humbled by the decision of the national leaders to choose our center, college, and University as a hub of important PK-12 STEM activity and as the host site for the national networking and training associated with engineering education through Engineering by Design,” Lindsey Vincent-Keith, SciTEC Center director, said. “We are hopeful this partnership will continue to expand and result in future opportunities for Louisiana Tech faculty and staff to lead and innovate in this space.” Faculty, staff, graduate students, and trainers from as far away as Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Illinois, Kentucky, and North Carolina joined the intensive STEM training and workshop to gain certification in delivery of engineering curriculum essential for student success. The next step for the 30 trainees will be the completion of a week-long Summer Institute, during which they will shadow a National Teacher Effectiveness Coach. After that they will become Authorized Teacher Effectiveness Coaches ready to lead EbD professional development in their own states. The ITEEA is the largest professional educational association, principal voice, and information clearinghouse devoted to enhancing technology, innovation, design, and engineering through experiences in our schools (K–12). The STEM CTL is the research, curriculum, and professional development arm of the ITEEA.