Saturday, March 29, 2014

Teach Your Children Well

ShareFair, Experience the STEMosphere is a FREE one-day event where students, parents, educators and lifelong learners of all ages can join us for a public exhibition of fun, interactive, STEM-inspired activities at the University of Missouri - St Louis. It took place on March 29, 2014. The event was made possible through the generosity of the Morgridge Family Foundation, a private family foundation that invests in the transformation of education for both students and educators. A leader in educational philanthropy throughout the nation, the Morgridge Family Foundation supports educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), environmental stewardship, broadband access, educational inclusion for hospitalized children, innovative instructional practices and educator development. 



EXHIBITORS included:  Academy of Science - St. Louis, Anatomy in Clay, The Boeing Company, Center for Nanoscience/Chemistry Dept. UMSL, Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis, Code Red Education, Custom K-12 Engineering, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, E Desmond Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative at UMSL, Endangered Wolf Center, Gateway Greening Inc, Humane Society of Missouri, Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy (IMSA), Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots, The Magic House, St. Louis Children's Museum, Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Monsanto Science Education Outreach, The Nature Conservancy, Republic Services, Saint Louis Science Center, Saint Louis Zoo, Schwartz & Associates Creative, Sophia M Sachs Butterfly House, UMSL CoE Technology Learning Center, University of Missouri - St. Louis, UMSL College of Nursing, UMSL/Washington University Joint Engineering Program, US Army Corps of Engineers, Washington University, World Chess Hall of Fame and YMCA.

The Saturday included 20+ classroom intensive presentations of which I attended four: Anatomy in Clay: Experience the first interactive tool: the hand (Jon Zahourek); Khan Academy: Building Khan Artists: Developing Support Structures to Facilitate Differentiation of Instruction (Brad Avery, Wayne Thornes); Red & Black Books: Preparing Students for Life, a Funny Thing Happened on the way to Hollywood (Tina Pennington, Mandy Williams); Smart solutions in STEM Education (Ian Belanger).

That’s a lot to take in on a Saturday. That being said, like any learning experience: When approached in earnest, there are net take-aways. Here are mine: 1. Educators are passionate
2. Technology is transforming Education 3. Smart people will find ways to merge creativity and content.

P.S. -  Carrie A. Morbridge, Vice President of the Morgridge Family Foundation followed Carole G. Basile, Dean of UMSL College of Education in the kick-off of the event with the analogy of giving teachers something better than a one speed bike to climb the continental divide.

Snarky P.P.S. Carrie Morgridge inadvertently refereed to UMSL as the “University of Saint Louis” in her opening remarks. She also mentioned Lance Armstrong better bicycle as analogy for transformative tools for teachers. (I’m pretty sure teachers want NOT to be associated with any form of cheating). But you gotta love it if it was her idea to take this show on the road to St. Louis. 

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