WHY WE SUPPORT STEM (AND YOU SHOULD, TOO!)
One thing we've learned over the past 10 years of supporting the David M. Brown Planetarium is that Arlington students are eager to know more about science. And their amazing teachers are working hard to inspire and encourage them. As part of our mission to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, the Friends established the Grants for Teachers program, providing funds to enable Arlington STEM teachers to improve their skills, and inspire and enable even more kids to become the scientists and engineers of the future.
How is the program funded?
The Grants for Teachers program has been funded by ticket sales for planetarium shows at Friends weekends. About $6,000 per year has been given to Arlington teachers in small grants to allow them to attend classes, major educational conferences, and take online classes. The program is administered jointly by the Friends and APS, and has benefited dozens of our teachers and - most importantly - their students.
Why are we asking for support?
Because of major construction on the adjacent building, the planetarium has had to close its doors temporarily. The income from ticket sales will be dramatically reduced during this time. We need YOUR help to continue funding the Grants for Teachers program for the next two years.
How can you help?
Donate to the Grants for Teachers program! We need to raise about $6,000 each year to fund the grants and continue to improve STEM teaching for Arlington students. Every donation makes a difference!
What Do Grants for Teachers Recipients Have to Say?
I attended several sessions at the NSTA conference in a variety of areas. I tried to pick sessions based on what areas I teach in fourth grade. Some of the sessions I attended related to Project-Based Learning, including a seaplane challenge, stream ecosystems with food chains and food webs, hands-on energy activities, and BreakOut. I plan to incorporate what I learned about project-based learning and the specific activities I saw during the hands-on energy sessions in my classroom. I believe my students will be very engaged by these.
This was a three day conference where there were many sessions to choose from each day. Many of the sessions I attended were STEM based. In many of the sessions I learned how to STEMify lessons through engineering designs and inquiry. The STEM-In-a-Bag was a great workshop with 20 easy to make STEM challenge ideas that each fit into a paper bag! The Infusing Technology into your Science Instruction provided an introduction to easily merge technology into your already busy science classrooms! The sessions were hands-on, engaging and age-appropriate for my K-5 science lab. I have already tried a few activities in my K/1 classes. Attending this workshop makes my planning much easier now!