Summer Academy: Hands-On Fun!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

With unique trainings, networking opportunities, and great resources for educators, The Einstein Project’s Summer Academy is bigger than ever this year! Wisconsin teachers came to experience the benefits of hands-on STEM for themselves, and the reviews were riveting. When we interviewed a few teachers in between training sessions last Tuesday morning, we found out that handson science isn’t just for students! Here are some of the highlights of our interviews:

 

1. What are your initial impressions of The Einstein Project’s Summer Academy?

 

“I find it very helpful to have time outside of the school year to receive training as the school year becomes so busy. I also enjoy hearing the ideas and experiences that other teachers have for the various units.” - Kathy Wiltgen, McAuliffe Elementary

 

“I enjoyed the hands-on practice and engagement with my colleagues.” - Ned Dorff, Aldo Leopold K-8

 

2. Do you think it is important for educators to have training on hands-on science education skills? Why/why not?

 

“Yes, I think it is important because it allows us to experience what the students will go through as well as find out things that need to be "tweaked". It is also helpful for recalling what to do with each lesson.” - Kathy

 

“Yes, so they can feel more confident in teaching their students and training their brains to think like engineers too.” - Ashley Ruedinger, Rock Ledge Intermediate School

 

3. What kits are you planning to use in your classroom? What do you like most about those kits?

 

“I will be using the Organisms kit and the Light and Sound kit. I like that the materials are available and the layout of the lessons. I also like the book lists that are included to help supplement my classroom library and literacy centers.”- Kathy

 

4. Do you think it is important for students to receive an education with a hands-on and balanced STEM focus?

 

“Absolutely! Too much sitting and testing now days for younger kid. Hands-on learning gets them out of their seats!” - Brooke, Assumption BVM

 

“This is where students make connections to their world, use higher level thinking skills to solve problems and discover their own interests and often strengths.” - Kathy

 

5. What do you hope Einstein units will bring to the educational experience for your students?

 

“Love of learning, develop curiosity, and become critical thinkers and problem solvers.” - Kathy

 

“I hope that it will train my students to think outside of the box and like engineers. I am hoping then this will help the students also enjoy other academic areas as well.” - Ashley

 

6. How do you like the unit trainers? What do you like about the sessions?

 

“I enjoy that they always build in hands-on experience for the course participants. We don't like sitting in desks and listening to lectures any more than our students do.” - Ned

 

“Loved my trainer Jessica Schweiner!” - Brooke (Editor’s Note: Shout out to Jessica! The Einstein Project is grateful to have a passionate team of trainers.)

 

7. Did you find signing up for Academy easy?

 

“Yes, Abby was extremely helpful!”- Brooke

 

“There were some road bumps, but the EP folks helped me through it via email.” - Ned

 

8. How do you feel about using an Einstein Project unit (in comparison with other forms of curriculum)?

 

“I like how everything is in one place and provided.” - Brooke

 

“I love it. It is teacher friendly and gets the students excited about other areas of learning.” - Kathy

 

“I feel it is truly cross-curricular and a good model for other units of study.” - Ned

 

“I enjoy using the Einstein kits in my room just as much as the kids do.” - Ashley

 

Thank you educators!
With these kinds of great reviews, it’s no wonder The Einstein Project is having our best year yet! From solar systems to ecosystems to electricity, everything is better with hands-on education. Thanks to our trainers, our staff, our teachers, and our schools, students from all over Wisconsin can look forward to a great year of STEM education in their classrooms!