On Friday, August 14th, 2020, Saint Cecilia teachers and staff underwent a full day of professional development training in STEM activities virtually, with several of the Prairie STEM staff leading the training. After a very warm welcome by Alan Wang, Jeff Ingraham began the day with Virtual Reality, using VR goggles and software options for classroom lesson ideas. After some practice driving STEMBots, Lis Edwards took the Saint Cecilia staff through a robot programming lesson in Java. Logan McIntyre and DiRen Chen, from STEMBot Inc., then introduced the teachers to their new robot, STEMBot 2, in which the programming of STEMBot 2 is in Python. Using the new STEMBot 2s, students would learn Python programming. After lunch, Jeff Ingraham took the Saint Cecilia staff through an Engineering By Design lesson. The object of this lesson is to get a balloon up a six-foot piece of string incline to reach the other side. Nathan VanZante taught a lesson on building an electromagnet and some lesson ideas on electricity. Next, they learned how to use Green Screen in making videos and presentations by breaking into small groups of two or three and creating their own videos, taught by Jeff Ingraham. The theme of the videos was COVID-19 – The three W’s: Wear a Mask, Wash Our Hands and Watch our Distance. It was suggested they could bring their own props in for their videos as well as use their robots as props. There was time to share their videos. Jeff then introduced the group to Prairie STEM’s new virtual lesson site, as well as some other good reference sites, then informed them about Prairie STEM’s Girls in STEAM program.
On Thursday May 12th we packed up our robots, drones, and Oculus VR goggles and headed to Spring Lake Elementary for their spring STEAM night!