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SET Sail STEM Educator Training

SET Sail STEM Educator Training

  POSTED ON: Monday, July 10, 2017 8:00 AM by Donna Weber

In July 2017, the USNA STEM Center hosted the annual Summer SET Sail STEM Educator Training. Two week-long residential sessions were offered onsite at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. SET Sail I was held July 10-14, hosting 44 teachers from Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools in the U.S., Cuba, Puerto Rico, Turkey, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, and Guam. SET Sail II was held July 17-20, hosting 42 teachers representing 20 states. The teachers were housed at nearby St. John’s College and participated in intense training in Project-Based Learning (PBL) at the U.S. Naval Academy. 

The teachers became students for the week and settled in to discover hands-on projects that they can replicate in their classrooms to demonstrate science, engineering and math concepts to their students. The teachers explored the cyber world and techniques of coding. They learned about chemical reactions by creating screen prints and taking and developing photographs. They discovered ways to teach the parameters of flight by creating helicopter rotors and experimenting with UAV quadcopters. The teachers built their own hydraulic arms. They also learned principles of fluids and hands-on ways to demonstrate these principles to their students. Teachers explored electrochemical processes and real world issues of corrosion and corrosion control.

Two design competitions were held throughout each week.  Supplies included common everyday items. One involved designing and constructing a series of simple machines to move “Bill the Goat” safely to a height of 12 inches with only one human interaction. The other was to create a mechanical “Logic Gate” machine for two marble inputs to travel through the machine and release a marble in the appropriate output state with specific parameters. 

SET Sail I participants were offered the opportunity to also participate in either a SeaPerch underwater robot or Creatrex quadcopter build.  Those who chose to stay an extra day were thrilled with the knowledge they acquired and with their finished products that they were able to take home. 

Opportunity was allotted for the teachers to brainstorm how they might use the hands-on activities they learned or modify them to fit the needs of their classrooms. Attendees benefitted from sharing information, networking, and collaborating with fellow teachers across schools, grade levels, and disciplines. Philip Hess, Shughart Middle School, commented: “This training exceeded my already high expectation. I learned so much this week that I cannot wait to take back to my school and my students.”

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