Recognizing How Teachers Engage Students Through STEM - Digital Promise

Recognizing How Teachers Engage Students Through STEM

November 3, 2014 | By

Share Fair Nation is an education event designed to support teacher practice, and it does so with two equally important approaches. On the one hand, teachers are invited to participate in intensive teacher professional development seminars. And on the other, an interactive environment called the STEMosphere mesmerizes children and families. This dual focus on innovative practice and student engagement is central to what teachers do, making Share Fair an important event for educators from around the country. It also provides unique opportunities for professional development.

With support from the Morgridge Family Foundation, the organizer of this teaching extravaganza, Digital Promise is taking professional development at Share Fair Nation a step further. We worked with Share Fair and other key partners to develop STEM-focused Educator Micro-credentials that reflect the newly acquired or otherwise sharpened skills and practices teachers gained from many of the seminars offered during the SFN event.

Read on to hear more about Share Fair and our new micro-credentials.


Get to know your community

Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program has given teachers a followup opportunity to demonstrate the community mapping skills they developed during their intensive workshop. To earn the Community Mapping micro-credential, teachers will lead students through the same process created by the Jane Goodall Institute while doing critical ecological work in over 130 countries. Students will be able to identify the needs of their community and take action by developing service projects to aid their communities.


Sharpen your open-ended questioning skills

TeachLivE has developed a mixed reality simulator through their work with the University of Central Florida, which they have opened up to educators in pursuit of this new professional development opportunity. Five excited teachers who participated in their session at Share Fair Nation were selected to improve their ability to ask open-ended questions while inhabiting a virtual environment. These teachers will undoubtedly benefit from the personalized, one on one professional development and guidance by the researchers and experts at UCF.


“What a dynamic group of educators! There was so much energy during the Share Fair Nation intensives at Denver this weekend. Our attendees got to interact with the TeachLivE avatars, and learn how they can change their teaching practice in targeted areas. When teachers started brainstorming for ways to use TeachLivE with their students, we had the most fun coming up with new ideas! We are looking forward to the upcoming Share Fair Nation events!!”Carrie Straub, TeachLivE


Craft interdisciplinary lessons from all disciplines were engaged by the interdisciplinary techniques they learned while attending the Anatomy in Clay intensive at Share Fair. Teachers dived in and got their hands dirty (literally) constructing models of human muscles from clay. Those educators are now equipped with the skills necessary to lead their classrooms through similar endeavors, facilitate discussions of human anatomy, and challenge their students to apply what they’ve learned outside of traditional STEM disciplines. Under the careful guidance of Jon Zahourek, this session masterfully balanced authentic, hands-on learning with artistic imagination.


Managing your classroom, outside of class

Lastly, The Nature Conservancy challenged educators to bring students closer to nature, by guiding them through management techniques associated with conducting an outdoor classroom. Educators who have demonstrated these skills provide their students with an enriching, educational experience beyond the walls of their classroom, and are eligible for earning a micro-credential.

The two sides of Share Fair Nation converged at the University of Denver and translated into a sincere celebration of educators, educational organizations, and most importantly, children and their families. If you want to participate in the Share Fair Nation as a teacher, or anyone else who has a stake in the future of education, check out their events list.

If you would like to get started with any of Share Fair’s STEM micro-credentials, head here. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what happens when Share Fair Nation heads to Bridgewater College this November!

Photos courtesy of Share Fair Nation

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