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Connecticut Science Center Offers Engineering is Elementary Teacher Workshops

April 17, 2014

The Connecticut Science Center (CSC) in Hartford is now an official professional development (PD) provider for Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®), an award-winning education curriculum developed by the National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) at the Museum of Science, Boston. EiE's PD program is designed to improve elementary educators' ability to teach engineering and technology. The Science Center joins the Extended Network of EiE PD Providers who facilitate PD workshops around the country.

"The national scope of EIE's classroom-tested curriculum keeps EiE program participants competitive with their peers," says Matt Fleury, Connecticut Science Center president and CEO.

The Science Center's Mandell Academy for Teachers adds EiE PD to its roster of STEM-focused workshop opportunities. "We're pleased to join this national network and support teachers in our state who are implementing EiE," says Hank Gruner, the Center's vice president of programs. "Our goal is to see all our educators qualified to facilitate EiE workshops and to be able to offer teacher training for all twenty of the EiE curriculum units."

During workshops, facilitators model EiE pedagogical approaches, such as using open-ended questions and encouraging learners to offer evidence and the rationale behind their ideas. Group learning and informal assessments model other strategies that participants can transfer into their classroom practice.

The Center will offer nine EiE workshops in 2014, reaching an estimated 135 Connecticut teachers. Mandell Academy is also developing and testing an innovative new element for EiE workshops -- a field experience.

"A number of the schools we work with had already implemented EiE before we joined the network," Gruner explains. "That gave us the idea to expand the two-day EiE workshop by adding a third day where teachers can visit a local school using EiE. It's so valuable for teachers to actually see the curriculum in action." The Center will test the new workshop design this spring with Annie Fisher STEM School in Hartford.

A generous grant from Cognizant supported the development of the professional development partnership between the Museum of Science and CSC.

Related Links

The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500