Collaboration around Elementary STEM Education

Collaboration around Elementary STEM Education
Posted on 11/09/2023
ESD 123’s Science Coordinator, Lorianne Donovan, leaders from Pasco (Wendy Lechelt-Polster and Kim Van Eaton),  and Tina Brewer from Kennewick.

The Confluence-STEM Integration Leaders Academy began with a vision to deliver high-quality professional learning that empowers educators with contemporary STEM and Science instruction strategies.  ESD 123’s Science Coordinator, Lorianne Donovan, leaders from Pasco (Wendy Lechelt-Polster and Kim Van Eaton),  and Tina Brewer from Kennewick, realized it was essential to reinvigorate STEM education in the Elementary classroom following the disruption caused by the Pandemic. As they shared in the October 30th Clime Time article, “If we expect our students to tackle complex issues like Earth changes and climate, we must first lay a solid elementary science educational foundation.”

Confluence Academy at the REACH MuseumThe Academy kicked things off with a three-part leadership series at the REACH museum attended by teachers and administrators.  They experienced strategies they could implement in the classroom by exploring a science question relevant to the geographical location of the Tri-Cities: the significance of snowpack in the irrigated lands of the Tri-Cities and the far-reaching effects of climate change on snowpack levels.  Under the leadership of Kimberley Astle, Associate Director at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), they also explored a new approach, “Mutually Supportive Integration,” designed to empower students in their learning.  Finally, they worked to explore and incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in relation to teaching about water and climate, as well as ideas for creating equitable learning opportunities.  In the process, they used several different technologies they could also return and incorporate in their classrooms and left with a network of likewise enthused teachers and administrators they could reach out to.
Confluence Academy Attendees_1

Confluence Academy Attendees_2

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