I attended the Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) STEM Educators Resource Fair in Cleveland, Ohio. This event was completely FREE to formal and informal educators. The premise of this event was to showcase to educators everything that the GLSC has to offer including field trips, educational movies in the Cleveland Clinic Dome Theater, examples of their hands-on workshops and additional events that they host for schools. Many of their STEM partners were also in attendance at the event.
I am not a formal educator, I am (and most of my readers) are informal educators of children – particularly young children. So my participation in this event was from a parent’s perspective – an informal educator – attempting to gather STEM ideas to incorporate for my children and also to gain further insight into more STEM resources available.
One of the workshops for PreK to Kindergarten really struck me as a project that could easily be adopted at home. This workshop focused on the story of The Three Little Pigs. If you google search, you will find many different videos, blogs and worksheets recommending how to carry out these activities in a classroom setting.
Your child would transform into the pigs from the story and build each of the houses to try to withstand the big, bad wolf (which could be a hair dryer) from materials you provide. As you recall in the story, the first pig built his house out of straw, the second pig out of sticks and the third out of bricks. The straw and sticks I feel are pretty self explanatory and easy to find. They used Legos as their “bricks”. You could even get creative and find these items on a nature hunt – straw (or grass), sticks, and stones. The activity teaches problem solving, provides a basic introduction to material properties and could also be used to work on comprehension. I could also see this taken further for older children to incorporate cost of materials.
The idea of connecting engineering concepts to a children’s book is pretty brilliant to me. My toddler would LOVE this! This unlocked a new realm of creativity. In the future, when I’m reading books to my children, the creativity wheels will be turning.
I did feel that this event would be very beneficial for new educators or educators that are not familiar with the additional STEM resources in the area. There are some really great hands-on workshops that the GLSC offers to educational groups! I am grateful to the GLSC for allowing me to participate in this event as an informal educator. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and informative.
Some of the additional STEM partners in attendance that I’d suggest parents check out were: Lakeland Community College HIVE, the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In the future, I hope to check out more of what these STEM partners offer children and share them!
If you are an educator who would like more information on the opportunities at the Great Lakes Science Center, you can find more information under the Educators tab on their website!
The information provided above about the event was based on my experience and understanding. I have no direct relationship with the GLSC other than I have a membership. For more information, please visit the GLSC website. I won an Inventionland Inventors Kit through a random drawing. I gifted this kit to my child’s school for educational purposes.