STEAM: Wisdom from the Front Lines

Region 10Today, I had the opportunity to attend a professional development entitled STEAM: Wisdom from the Front Lines that was held at Brookhaven College and coordinated by Education Service Center: Region 10.

The training brought together, in a single room, STEAM educators from secondary and higher ed in an Ed Camp formatted one-day conference. While K-12 and higher ed coordinate with each other at the higher levels, they rarely coordinate at the local level. Today was a first for many of us.

We got to hear what higher ed would like in our graduates and they gave us ideas on projects and programs that we could implement to get them there. It was very insightful and helpful.

On a selfish note, I have recruited an additional team to our robotics league from Faith Family Academy in Waxahachie!

Roster First Glance & Gender Inequality

I now have my first glance at my rosters today in Skyward.

Here is how it looks right now:

  • 1st Period – Principles of Applied Engineering
    • 16 TOTAL (13 Males / 3 Females)
  • 5th Period – Principles of Applied Engineering
    • 16 TOTAL (16 Males / 0 Females)
  • 2A – Computer Science 1
    • 15 TOTAL (13 Males / 2 Females)
  • 4A – Computer Science 1
    • 12 TOTAL (10 Males / 2 Females)
  • 2B – Computer Science 2
    • 8 TOTAL (8 Males / 0 Females)
  • 3A – Robotics 1
    • 19 TOTAL (13 Males / 6 Females)
  • 3B – Robotics 1
    • 20 TOTAL (17 Males / 3 Females)
  • 3A – Robotics 2
    • 7 TOTAL (6 Males / 1 Female)
  • 3B – Robotics 2
    • 5 TOTAL (4 Males / 1 Female)

Converting these to percentages, this means that 9.28% of my Principles of Applied Engineering, 14.81% of my Computer Science 1, 23.08% of my Robotics 1, and 16.67% of my Robotics 2 classes are female.

A study from Jensen and Nutt shows 74% of females have interest in engineering technology ahead of entry to junior high. At conclusion of high school that interested drops to 2%.

Considering setting my 2017/2018 professional goal to be to develop a program that encourages more females into STEM.

According to US Dept of Ed 2015 study, 10.4% of males earned an engineering STEM credit compared to 2% of females.

Proposing 3 All-Girls STEM Camps for 2018:

  • Camp 1 – Completed 4th / 5th Grade
  • Camp 2 – Completed 6th Grade
  • Camp 3 – Completed 7th / 8th Grade

The major groups to support would be camps 1 and 2.

Computer Science 1 S&S

At the conclusion of last school year, I had a curve-ball thrown at me concerning my plans to offer AP Computer Science 1 based upon the UTeach Computer Science Principles course which I attended the APSI for in the Summer of 2016. This course would align with the AP Computer Science – Principles Exam. In addition, the course would count as a Language Other Than English (LOTE) credit for our students.

Well, the State of Texas had other plans on that. According to TEA, Computer Science 1 can count as an AP credit OR a LOTE credit, but NOT both.

As we already have HB-5 students in progress that need CS1 as a LOTE credit, we have elected to drop the AP designation. However, I am still modeling the course after the AP CS1 curriculum from UTeach CS Principles, which will allow the students to be prepared to take the AP Computer Science – Principles exam at the conclusion of the year, if they would like.

Here is what I am planning to cover in CS1 this year:

  • Week 1
    • Structured Programming Languages
  • Weeks 2 – 4
    • Linear Programming in Scratch
  • Week 5
    • Boolean Logic Operators in Scratch
  • Week 6
    • Conditional Programming in Scratch
  • Weeks 7 – 9
    • Non-Linear Programming in Scratch
  • Weeks 10 – 12
    • Iterative Structures & Loops in Scratch
  • Weeks 13 – 16
    • Game Design Projects (AP Explore Artifact)
  • Week 17
    • Fall Semester Exam
  • Week 18
    • Women in Computer Science Research Project
  • Week 19
    • Basic Output and Variables in Python
  • Week 20
    • Casting Variables in Python
  • Weeks 21 – 23
    • Iterative Structures & Loops in Python
  • Weeks 24 – 26
    • Iterative Structures & Loops in Python Project
  • Week 27
    • Data Structures: Stacks in Python
  • Week 28
    • Data Structures: Arrays in Python
  • Week 29
    • Data Manipulation in Python
  • Weeks 30 – 31
    • Data Structures Project
  • Weeks 32 – 35
    • Digital Artwork (AP Performance Artifact)
  • Week 36
    • Spring Semester Exam