Each summer our district puts on a three day Summer Institute for teachers. Those who attend get a $100/day stipend and re-certification credits. We have trainers across the district, the state, and consultants come in for those three days who run various classes. As tech coaches we are required to present at least two out of the three days. This year our training focus was to target technology integration into specific curriculum areas. Surprise, surprise...I choose science as my curriculum area.
I decided to train on Science Centers in the Classroom. I used the S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) as the model for my rotations (with each letter being the focus of a rotation).
For a complete copy of the presentation click HERE. For a copy of the science center rotation instructions for each center click HERE.
If you are interested in adding science centers to your classroom you might want to consider a rotation focus (like the STEAM model). It really helps with planning and focus. A big question I got was how often do you do the rotations? You can do it however works for your class. When I did them in the class each station was a day (so it took the entire week to cycle through each station...but I had limited time with the students). I only did one week like that a unit because it took so much planning (it just depends on the teacher, the time, the resources, and the curriculum).
I had a teacher email me after the start of the year writing:
I was in your summer institute training for steam and utilized what I learned this past week. I wanted to share with you because my students and I both LOVED it!! My team is now doing them too and we are trying to integrate it into our social studies as well! So thanks!! I attached some pictures :)
FYI - It meant a lot that she emailed. A lot of times we never hear back from teachers and that email just about made my day!
Here were her pictures.