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'Wonders of Invention' course teaches STEM concepts

June 13, 2013 12:00AM

'Wonders of Invention' course teaches STEM concepts
Ben Rees, Wichita, (left) Nick Steffen, Abilene, measure to center up signage for their learning station about Digital Photography.

Polly Herman teaches English at Fort Scott High School. In that role, she doesn’t always think about the concepts taught within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum.

However, when some of her fellow FSHS teachers decided to enroll in Pittsburg State University’s “Wonders of Invention” technology workshop, Herman went along. At the end of the two-day course, she was certainly glad she did.

“The class has been incredibly beneficial in terms of taking back ideas for collaboration with other teachers,” Herman said. “We can make the concepts we use in English applicable in math and technology.”

The course, taught by PSU associate professor Mike Neden and Pittsburg High School’s technology teacher Larry Dunekack, challenged students to develop interactive displays that told the story of famous inventors and inventions.

“The idea was to get them to prepare lessons in different ways using the STEM concepts and resources that are available to them,” Neden said. “What made the course so much fun and so interesting were the variety of backgrounds represented.”

Some of the course’s students were current PSU graduate students, while others, like Herman, are former students who simply wanted to learn more.

“English and technology certainly can go hand-in-hand in a number of ways, and this course helped me understand that better,” said Herman, who earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from PSU.

The course took place inside the Center of Applied Learning technology lab at Pittsburg High School.

©2013 Pittsburg State University