November 15, 2015
(Photo credit: Caitlin Wolf/Center for Inspired Teaching)
On November 5th, the DC STEM Network hosted its inaugural STEM Summit at Gallaudet University. Open to educators, administrators, and policymakers for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) instruction throughout the DC-region, the Summit was a full day of engaging sessions and presentations. Center for Inspired Teaching helped lead this important conversation with Inspired Teaching’s Aleta Margolis and David Yarmchuk both presenting at the event.
The community of educators and STEM experts participated in lively discussions about ways to improve the future of STEM instruction and provide the best opportunities for all DC students. Aleta, Inspired Teaching’s Executive Director, spoke on a Summit panel to highlight key ways teachers should be supported as they develop the skills needed to successfully implement the Next Generation Science Standards into their classrooms through engaging, inquiry-based instruction. Aleta is a member of the Advisory Council for the DC STEM Network.
Dave, who leads Inspired Teaching’s SCALE: Science Curriculum Advancement through Literacy Enhancement program, presented findings from the Network’s survey of school leaders, which identified gaps in students’ STEM experiences across schools. The report highlighted a need for additional professional development for science teachers, as well as school-based structures like flexible scheduling and collaboration time to support science teaching and learning. In the afternoon, Dave also led a Summit breakout session discussing to improve the career pathway for science teachers, starting with pre-service teachers and leading to teacher leadership. Dave leads the In-School Time Working Group for the DC Stem Network.
Caitlin Wolf, Program Associate for Inspired Teaching, also attended the Summit. Caitlin is a part of DC STEM Network’s Professional Development Working Group and contributed to their report, which was shared during the STEM Spark! Session, during which all seven working groups presented their current findings on the state of STEM and changes needed in DC.
The DC STEM Network, a partnership between the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE), began in 2014 to “unite community partners in a sustainable collective effort to design, guide, and advocate for transformative STEM learning opportunities for all DC students. The DC STEM Network joins similar initiatives in 24 other states as part of a nationwide network led by the Battelle Memorial Institute.”