2013 – Year 1
During the summer of 2013, STEMccm’s first round of teacher participants worked with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and California State Standards in Mathematics (CCSS-M), developed models, and wrote accompanying lesson plans. Teacher participants learned by doing as the workshop modeled the teaching techniques neccessary to scaffold the modeling and coding skills for students. Additionally, teachers were able to visit research facilities and engage with scientists doing cutting edge work with computational modeling – allowing them to bring back first hand experience to their classrooms.
Teacher Participants hard at work.
2014 – Year 2
Following the successes and lessons learned during the first summer of training, the team expanded in early 2014 to include partners at San Joaquin County Office of Education, University of the Pacific, as well as other regional contributors. Vic, Dean, Rodger, and Richard were joined by Kirk Brown, Bret States, Debbie Williams, Joanna Aballa, Dennis Parker, and many others to write a California Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant for Cohort 10.
2014 Expanding Your Horizons Workshop at University of the Pacific
The program continued to grow as summer approached – the team was able to take the STEMccm framework and adapt it to several new audiences. Elementary and Middle School aged girls were introduced to programming, computer simulation, and NetLogo at Expanding Your Horizons – a STEM outreach event held at University of the Pacific. Additionally, week long workshops were planned for the upcoming summer at CalPoly, San Luis Obispo as well as University of California, Merced.
The grant proposal was accepted and the SIMMS Project was born – Secondary Integration of Modeling in Math and Science. The SIMMS Project brought 57 regional science and mathematics secondary teachers to SJCOE to learn how to incorporate computational modeling into their curriculum. During the first summer and subsequent school year, participants learned about the importance of computational modeling, the connection to standards, learned to code, toured cutting edge research facilities at a national laboratory, and participated in two lesson study cycles.
Snapshots of SIMMS Year 1 – 2014
The summer of 2014 was a huge success. Over one hundred teacher participants, high school students, and graduate students received training across 6 weeks of workshops in San Joaquin County, Alameda County, CSU Cal Poly, and UC Merced.
Additionally, Teacher participants from 2013 returned with students to investigate a research question and built a simulation of the carbon cycle. Some of these students then joined the team to help facilitate the first and second years of the SIMMS project.
Summer of 2014 – Teachers presenting their models.
2015 – Year 3
2015 was even more successful. Workshops ran for six weeks during summer and once again, over 100 teacher and student participants worked on bringing computational modeling into the classroom. This year was especially successful as more teachers and students stepped up to help facilitate and build upon the growing STEMccm project. In addition to several high school students volunteering to help instruct at Expanding Your Horizons, several STEMccm teacher participants developed and led their own workshops and coding boot-camps throughout the region.
Additionally, STEMccm instructor Dean Reese expanded the footprint of the project by bringing NetLogo to primary classrooms, Alameda County High School students assisted Vic and Rodger in bringing NetLogo into local elementary schools, and for the first time, several elementary and middle school teachers attended STEMccm workshops.
The team continues to grow.
Summer of 2015 was the second year of the SIMMS project. Teacher participants continued integrating computational modeling into their classrooms, continued the lesson study process, and began making their own contributions to the STEMccm website. Their flipped lessons, complete 5-E lessons, and accompanying models were uploaded to the website to provide an invaluable resource to other teachers and students. Continuing with the lesson study process, teachers also began the dissemination process by working collaboratively with teachers at their sites – doing model lessons in their peers’ classrooms to demonstrate the teaching strategies and tools they learned through the SIMMS project.
2016 – Year 4
2016 built upon the lessons learned through three years of modeling instruction as many more teachers and students participated in STEMccm trainings through four weeks of summer instruction.
During their third and final year of SIMMS, teacher participants continued working on dissemination. This was the capstone of the SIMMS project and the goal was to have teacher participants own the dissemination process by taking their modeling expertise back to their departments, sites, districts, and workshops throughout the state.
While 2016 marked the final year of SIMMS, it is not the end of STEMccm. It is our hope that through their experiences in the SIMMS program, our teacher participants have become more driven to become teacher leaders – developing workshops, attending conferences, and becoming a second generation of STEMccm instructors.
The vision of STEMccm continues to grow and we are now working on a textbook through which to deliver modeling content to teachers all over the world.
Please keep checking back for more updates!
More workshops to come! Make sure to sign up!