With budget cuts, teachers are pressed to find ways to include new equipment in their science labs. Fortunately in Kansas City, the IEEE has just started a new program (in partnership with Science Pioneers) to provide area teachers access to loads of equipment that is way out of our budget. This was some of the professional development that I've had.
Today I "borrowed" a ring launcher and a model hand-crank generator for all of next week. I'm in the middle of a chemistry unit where it almost seems magical how energy is generated and how magnetism/electric charge is a part. It's my belief that as students have time to learn about these concepts with hands-on equipment, the magic will drop away and they will build understanding. High schools have so much more demostration equipment and the middle schools find themselves sadly lacking in this kind of thing. It really hampers our ability to show instead of tell....and the more active the learning, the bigger the engagement and the more motivation it will provide to students. My goal is to keep loving science....and Burns & McDonnell/Alan Washburn have gone a long, long way in making my goal more achievable. @BurnsMcDonnell
So I went to this amazing facility at Burns & McDonnell. It's a huge engineering firm in KC and they have graciously allowed one of their engineers to provide professional development for teachers. Through the IEEE, the equipment was purchased and then the engineers show how it's used. They keep the "library of equipment" at their office, you drop by, check it out and bring it back when you're finished. Not only for teachers, scout troops, community groups and other entities in the community are welcome to use the equipment as long as they have taken the training.
I know this is really cool. It's a huge real-life demonstration of the power of school/business partnerships. A bonus is that engineer that did the professional development offered to help answer questions if we had some along the way....boy am I thankful for that too.
What a wonderful Thanksgiving Day present!!! I'm sure a #thankfulteacher for this kind of help and support.
Sent from my iPhone