Washington County Teachers Embrace Children’s Engineering!

Many teachers in Washington County are very passionate about incorporating STEM and STEAM into everyday learning.

Many learning experiences are provided both school-wide with afterschool STEM activities, STEM Days; as well as innovative ways that teachers include this 21 st Century strategy for increasing problem solving, collaboration, team building, higher level thinking skills, creative problem solving, rigor, and active inquiry. On February 7 and 8, 2019, teachers from MES, WES, AES, and VIES - attended the Virginia Children’s Engineering Conference in Roanoke, Virginia. With over 800 educators in attendance, the 2 day workshop had many breakout sessions which allowed participants to network with educators across the state. All sessions were informative, up to date with VDOE initiatives, and allowed hands-on learning for immersion in areas such as STEAM/STEM correlations to SOLS, Cyber Security, Engineering with Coding, Robotics, Virtual Reality; as well as assessment of PBL, high tech strategies, and unlocking creativity/design/solutions to real world issues. Dr. Barbara Jones, Librarian at Watauga Elementary and Meredith Doane, Elementary Gifted Resource Teacher led a presentation called “Makerspace for All.” The session was focused on helping teachers provide Makerspace activities housed in a centralized location such as the library which not only extend current SOLS and what teachers are teaching in the classroom to independent learning activities that all students can visit during the day and work on multi-faceted curriculum challenges to promote higher level thinking, creative application, and collaboration with peers. They also demonstrated the effective utilization of Makerspace for gifted learners and the use of PBL, independent/self-directed learning, and active inquiry using the 4 C’s.

Contact Person: 
Meredith Doane