The PSU College of Technology and College of Education collaborated to host hands on STEM programs for third–grade students from Westside Elementary School at the Kansas Technology Center (KTC). The program is part of classes designed to give the students teaching experience with STEM education.
“This is a collaboration between the college of technology and the college of education,” said Byron McKay, assistant professor of technology education. “We have elementary education majors and we have engineering technology majors, so they are working together on STEM lessons and teaching sessions.”
McKay said that they are bringing a third-grade class to get six different lessons like lightning lessons which is about 10 minutes and that they work on new concepts and new activities.
“This gives our students a chance to test out a lesson they have prepared,” McKay said. “…they are ready for (the lesson) and then make modifications, and reflect on their performance and say ‘Hey, this is why I did very well. This is where I messed up on stuff and that I need to fix it.”
McKay also said that these sessions give PSU students teaching experience, especially those without any experience beforehand.
“We have been working with the elementary students… for years,” McKay said. “As far as getting our lessons going out and reach out the schools and teaching them something interactive with them... This is our second year of doing those sessions where they come and they do this fast–paced thing and we really like what it does (because) our students get the chance to fix things… (It’s) something we will be doing in the future.”
Students had the opportunity to present design and engineering challenges to students under the supervision of professor of educational technology Tracy Rampy.
“They are giving… challenges that our students have created… and they are giving challenges to the third graders as they rotate through six different stations.” She said, “… They are teaching the students how to design and then how to run their challenge and then how to modify, so it’s a total STEM concept.”
Rampy also said that these teaching sessions give local students and elementary schools the chance to come and visit campus and the lab and have a “fun learning experiencing.”
“We really think that hand on experiences for our teachers is beneficial and it’s a win-win partnership between Pitt State and the local school districts for both their students and for our students,” Rampy said.
Senior in technology education Jared Baugh said that for him this was his first experience teaching students about STEM.
“We go through six different STEM… lessons with them,” Baugh said. They are ‘lightning lessons,’ ten–minutes apiece. We try to teach them one or two vocabulary words and teach them a little bit about some engineering or STEM–related topics… It’s really good to just kind of learn about how to manage the class (and) manage students.”
Sophomore in elementary education Josie Lone said that those sessions are part of a ‘instructional technology for educators’ class that she is taking this semester.
“I think that this is beneficial for students..,” Lone said. “It’s good for them to come to a new environment and learn from us as students and its good for us because before we even start our professional semester where we go in to the classroom, we are getting students coming to us and we are teaching, and we feel more comfortable.”