STEMbyTAF Teacher Institute. A New Way of Teaching.
TAF provides professional development and training for teachers and schools that want to integrate STEM into their instruction. Our Teacher Institute exposes teachers to practices that have won TAF Academy national awards for excellence and innovation. Our model for teaching and learning STEM has been recognized by Intel, The Carnegie Corporation, the Center for Educational Effectiveness, and the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
Our methodology provides a researched-based model for the integration of content standards (i.e., Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and district standards), project-based learning (PBL) and design thinking into classrooms. The STEM Institute is facilitated by leading STEM educators and industry experts.
Along with other areas of study, the Teacher Institute provides:
The STEMbyTAF Teacher Institute is currently only open to teachers in TAF’s portfolio of schools. We do plan to open it up to all public school teachers in the near future.
STEM is the means by which we solve our world’s biggest challenges, whether curing cancer, battling climate change, or eradicating poverty. We prepare teachers to provide each student deep practical and theoretical STEM knowledge through a project-based instructional framework.
Core Areas of Study
What exactly is STEM education? We make the acronym come to life as we look at case studies and research to establish a shared, working definition that is multi-tiered. In fact, the best way to learn about STEM education is to experience it firsthand.
Day 1 puts you in the students’ seats working alongside your peers, experienced STEM educators, and expert professionals from related industries. The primary focus is to build shared definitions for key terms and concepts, examine data, and start your own real projects to take into your classroom next year.
The emergence of Common Core and Next Generations Science Standards requires teachers to “up the ante” for what we want students to know and be able to do. Day 2 helps participants to understand how STEM education serves these new expectations through the higher rigor demands of well-designed PBL.
Real-world examples from TAF Academy and partner schools are used to deconstruct the elements of project-based learning.
With increasing access to the internet, students have at their fingertips an overwhelming amount of information that far exceeds the knowledge that any single teacher can possess.
Day 3 goes deeper into the role of a STEM educator as someone who can facilitate and manage student learning through inquiry and questioning, leveraging a broad range of technologies in and out of the classroom.
High stakes student assessments are an unavoidable reality for schools. However, those requirements should not keep teachers from employing other meaningful ways to measure student learning.
In the final day, participants unpack what authentic STEM learning and assessment entail and culminate their experience with a presentation of their work and takeaways from the institute to an audience of peers and STEM professionals. We call this authentic exhibition – a critical component of STEM education.