The Summer Institute kicked off with teachers gathering in the UNCG School of Education. Over 50 teachers are attending the 2018 Summer Institute. Early in the day teachers interacted in small groups to build a tower out of index cards. The tower had to be 24 inches tall and be able to hold a small object for a count of 10. Each group came up with their own design that they felt would hold up the object. Teachers also discussed how to nuture STEM equity in our schools and how engineering can support and encourage all learners.
Later in the day teachers worked together in small groups to learn how to use an Engineering is Elementary Kit with their students. Participants were divided into six groups by grade level. Some of the Engineering is Elementary Kits the teachers are learning to use are: A Sticky Situation: Designing Walls and The Best of Bugs: Designing Hand Pollinators. All of the teachers participated as students and teachers with Catching the Wind Designing Windmills.
As the teachers were reflecting on their work at the 2018 STEM TLC one of the participants said, " You've got to have a healthy struggle while learning." Throughout the day STEM TLC participants reflected on giving students "a healthy struggle" that will keep students engaged in engineering activities.