Creating Opportunities for Teachers through Virtual Programming

June 23, 2021 at 10:21 am Leave a comment

Although Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) was still working remotely in spring 2021, we were still able to connect with teachers in several ways. We have had Coffee hours (an informal virtual gathering of teachers sharing ideas), contracted professional development, and have planned an exciting summer of opportunities for teachers. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please visit our website.

Tufts CEEO in collaboration with White Mountain Science, Inc. (WMSI) have continued holding free monthly Coffee Hours (sign up here) for teachers. Over the past year, we’ve had teachers from various areas in the country attend Coffee Hours and they shared both their successes and their struggles while teaching virtually. We’ve discussed a variety of other subjects at these Coffee Hours from doing hands-on engineering virtually, getting students to think about a client-based engineering, and supporting students’ social-emotional learning as they return to the physical classroom. Building on this Tufts CEEO and WMSI collaboration, we partnered to present a three-session workshop for teachers in March and April 2021 that was an introduction to engineering design and computer science. In this series, participants built solutions with physical materials as well as in a virtual world, and then thought about how to implement the activities with their students. 

Tufts CEEO also conducted a seven-session Novel Engineering series that began in October 2020 and was offered through the Massachusetts Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Grant Program. This series began with an introduction to Novel Engineering and then supported teachers as they chose books and implemented Novel Engineering in their own classrooms. We have worked with the CCLC for the past few years and have run Novel Engineering professional development with CCLC teachers, but this year we were able to work with them over an extended period of time due to the virtual format. This allowed for a more in depth understanding of Novel Engineering and allowed us to experiment with several online collaboration scenarios and tools. 

This summer of 2021, we will continue to offer virtual professional development. Barbara Bratzel will be leading the second virtual Summer LEGO Engineering Institute for Educators featuring LEGO Education SPIKE Prime robotics. For the first time, we will offer Online Designing Biomimetic Robots Teacher Professional Development which is based on a Tufts CEEO research project, done in collaboration with TERC, and discusses the technical aspects and pedagogy of a fifteen-lesson, biology-inspired middle school robotics curriculum. Registration information is below.

Designing Biomimetic Robots Teacher Professional Development: July 26-27

Summer LEGO Engineering Institute for Educators: August 2-6 

We are also accepting applications for Tufts Teacher Engineering Education Program (TEEP) which is an exciting opportunity for teachers to receive graduate credit. For more information, visit TEEP.tufts.edu

We hope to continue to make connections with teachers and if you are interested in anything you have read about today, please email us at ceeo@tufts.edu.

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