Corps of Engineers to STEM support for teacher externship

Park Ranger Amy Redmond shows a student from Hawkins Middle School a corn snake during a presentation about snakes in Tennessee. There were 11 learning stations that kids rotated between on Environmental Awareness Day at Old Hickory Lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District sponsors events like this to draw awareness to subjects in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (Photo by Lee Roberts)
Park Ranger Amy Redmond shows a student from Hawkins Middle School a corn snake during a presentation about snakes in Tennessee. There were 11 learning stations that kids rotated between on Environmental Awareness Day at Old Hickory Lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District sponsors events like this to draw awareness to subjects in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (Photo by Lee Roberts)

By Lee Roberts

Helping kids with science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects and related educational programs is something the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is doing in partnership with Middle Tennessee schools.  Now it is preparing to host STEM teachers for an externship program that will help them shape curriculum to include applied skills in the classroom.

Project-based learning is important to integrating STEM education according to Diana Laboy-Rush from Learning.com. She said it is critical to pay attention to the extent of teacher knowledge and to support teachers throughout the project process in order for students to fully engage in the project topic.

See the below video for more information about how the Corps is supporting STEM students, its relationship with the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub, and efforts to provide teachers access to Corps resources and expertise.

Corps expands STEM partnership with externship from Lee Roberts on Vimeo.

Studies show curriculum should promote hands-on experiences that expose students and teachers to how STEM subjects are applied.

Vicki Metzgar, director of the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub, said the Corps is well suited to partner with STEM teachers through externships because ot the wide variety of career fields employed by the federal agency.

“The opportunities are endless in the Corps,” Metzgar said.  “We really want our teachers to understand the kinds of variety of jobs that you have going on here at the Corps so they can take back those real world experiences to their classroom.”

The Corps plans to host Middle Tennessee STEM teachers in June 2013.

For more information about contacting the Nashville District about STEM opportunities and partnerships, go to the organization’s website and use the online contact form.

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