Cohorts for New ACRES Participants
Participation in either Ready, Set, STEM! & Asking Purposeful Questions or Asking Purposeful Questions is a prerequisite for the rest of the modules. The remaining five modules can be completed in any order.
Ready, Set, STEM! & Asking Purposeful Questions
Are you ready to bring meaningful STEM learning into your program? This module offers educators who are new to facilitating STEM, the opportunity to build supportive relationships with other educators, while exploring the principles of STEM learning. This module combines an introduction to STEM facilitation with the skill of Asking Purposeful Questions.
Asking Purposeful Questions
Questions are the beginning of a path towards discovery, imagination, and STEM exploration. How can we help youth expand and clarify their thinking and develop their reasoning through the questions we ask them? This module is designed for educators who have some experience facilitating STEM learning and would like to grow in their practice within a supportive group of other educators.
Cohorts for Returning ACRES Participants
ACRES Returners are all educators who have completed at least the Asking Purposeful Questions workshop and coaching sessions. Returners may complete the rest of the skills in any order.
Developing STEM Identities and Making Career Connections
How do you help youth recognize their connection to and role in STEM? How do you help youth learn about STEM careers? In this module, participants experience several easy to implement strategies, including a photo elicitation activity, learn about how youth forms STEM identities, and then learn how to conduct related activities with youth.
Exploring Youth Understanding in STEM
What can we do to find out what youth know about a particular topic without resorting to a quiz or test? What strategies can we use before, during and following an activity to surface youths’ understanding? In this module, participants will first clarify the purpose of formative assessment and then learn several easy-to-implement strategies for monitoring youths’ understanding.
Modeling Science Practices
How can we make sure that our ‘hands on’ science experiences for youth are also ‘minds on?’ In this module, participants learn how to support youth as engage in the science practices to learn science ideas, including planning and conducting investigations around testable questions. They’ll talk about the similarities and differences of questioning in science versus questioning in engineering contexts.
Giving Youth Voice and Choice
How often do youth in your program get to choose what they’re investigating or designing, the materials they might use and/or how they engage with the work? In this module, participants try out strategies for giving youth voice and choice and apply the ideas as they redesign a STEM activity to incorporate a greater variety of youth input.
Modeling Engineering Practices
Engineering has become a staple of STEM programming for youth. How can we confidently bring engineering into our programming and support youth as they engage in problem solving? In this module, participants gain first-hand experience with engineering by solving a design problem. They examine the components of the engineering design process and discuss ways to model the process with youth.
- Each module consists of three two-hour, virtual sessions, over the course of approximately two months. Each module follows the following outline:
- Session 1: Participants are introduced to a skill and spend time experiencing and practicing the skill among peers. Participants then return to their program where they capture a short clip of the strategies in action.
- Session 2: Participants share their clips, reflect on their practice, and share feedback with one another. They then return to their program to record a second round of practice.
- Session 3: Participants gather for another coaching session where they share their second clip, reflect on their practice, and share feedback with one another.