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SET Sail STEM Educator Training Summer 2021

  POSTED ON: Thursday, July 22, 2021 12:00 AM by Sarah Durkin

SET Sail STEM Educator Training, an annual professional development program, includes two residential week-long sessions held in July in Annapolis, MD. SET Sail Session I included 28 teachers and instructional support specialists from Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools in Americas, Europe and Pacific Districts. SET Sail Session II included 28 public and private school teachers representing 17 states and Puerto Rico. The intensive thirty-hour workshops encourage secondary-level educators to incorporate project-based learning with real-world applications into their curriculum, to reinforce scientific principles and the engineering design process, engage students in STEM courses, and introduce them to Navy STEM technologies. This program is sponsored by DoDEA, Office of Naval Research (ONR), DoD STEM, the Naval Academy Foundation, and Dr. Ernst Volgenau.

USNA STEM Faculty and staff Joe McGettigan, Christine Maceo, Sarah Durkin, Pat Meinhold and Lou Cox along with USNA Professors Mark Murray, Chris Brown, Beth Waitkus and Gina Henderson implemented content-based sessions in Electricity, Logic, Biofuels, Fluid Dynamics, Cybersecurity, Data Science, Bioterrorism, Hydraulics, Thermodynamics, and Programming.  Engineering Design projects and competitions were included within these academic sessions, using the engineering design process to develop solutions to challenges using common everyday items as supplies. STEM Fairs in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Space allowed participants to experience a series of related activities that reinforced more general topics. Evening sessions in Logical Reasoning, Soldering and Robotics extended the topics covered during the academic day and encouraged networking and teamwork. TAD Ensigns (Tom Dias, Kailah O’Brien and Jennifer Iniguez), USNA STEM Interns (David Paton, McCauley Brown, and Brooke Bailey) and ONR Reservists (Dolores Pyne-Mercier, Curtis Peschel and Eric Kommer) assisted with the multi-day event. Activities were designed to be readily incorporated into the classroom using low cost resources and inquiry-based learning.

Attendees benefitted from sharing information, networking, and collaborating with fellow teachers across schools, grade levels, and disciplines, while building confidence in their ability to use this methodology in the classroom. Sessions and activities were matched to national science and math standards. Participants received STEM starter kits for classroom use, as well as documentation for more than 50 project-based activities to assist them in readily implementing the activities and methodology in the classroom. 

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