I have really grown since my first blog post. I am glad I learned the basics of coding and can now make a LilyPad blink and sing a tune. I have also grown in terms of my knowledge of 3D Printing. I have a 3D printer in my class and I try to print something new once a week. My growth has allowed me to introduce new projects to my students and colleagues. I have become a better educator because of my Kenan Fellowship and have grown more than I could have imagined. I really enjoyed the experience and would love to continue to work with the program.
One moment (series of moments) I will never forget is my experience white water rafting in the Nantahala River. I love the outdoors (until the bugs come). I plan to return this summer with my family and friends so they can experience white water rafting. It was truly a great experience for me. Another memorable moment was when my team member finally got out Perfect Posture shirt to actually work. We were so happy and excited. We were anxious to try it out and show the other Kenan Fellows how it operated. I would recommend the Kenan Fellowship program to any educator wanting to incorporate STEAM into their courses. I learned so much, met great educators, actually had fun, and challenged myself when it came to learning how to code. This school year was much more exciting for me. I was able to introduce new ideas to my colleagues and share cutting-edge techniques and practices with my students. My school year has definitely been a better year because of my Kenan Fellowship.
I am excited to finally see my lesson plan in action. I have tried various components of my lesson plan over the course of the school year making sure to try and work out any kinks other educators might encounter. When I was having problems getting Arduino to recognize the serial ports, I reached out to many of the engineering and technology educators in my district seeking support and assistance. Many of my colleagues are excited to see “My blinking shirts and bags” in action. I will definitely be using the finished products as props when promoting my fashion merchandising program to potential students. I would also like to be able to feature some of my student projects in the Maker community to inspire other novice Arduino users and fashion and entrepreneurship educators. My students have learned about and are utilizing the engineering design process, 3-D printing, and coding. What excites me the most is my students are excited about innovation and technology.
Once I introduced my students to the Idea of smart clothing and wearable devices they were very Intrigued. I heard comments Like “I never knew there was clothing and stuff out here that could do that” and “How did the make that?” My students were very excited when I explained the project I helped to develop during my Kenan Fellowship this summer. I described how my team members and I developed a wearable device in the form of a shirt that measured your posture and gave you a bit of a vibration when you were not demonstrating the proper posture. I ask my students if creating a wearable device would be something they wold be interested in trying to make, of course they were ready to get started right away. After showing the related videos I heard more “Oh Ok’s”. I thought this is great they are interested and excited. Once I guided my students through the basic programming steps using a prewritten code they were ready to manipulate the prewritten codes to create their own codes. Once students were able to get their code uploaded they were excited about seeing the LEDs blink at different rates of succession. I’m glad I learned how to create basic coding during my Kenan Fellowship and can now continue to develop my skills and teach my students how to code LilyPads.
My fellowship has changed my way of thinking in terms of how I look at STE(A)M. I always knew it would be innovative to add science, technology, engineering, and math in my fashion merchandising and marketing courses. The Kenan Fellowship has introduced and provided a way for me to integrate coding and 3D printing into my marketing courses. I was able to witness Innovative methods of using textiles and technology. I am excited to see what my students will create when we complete the Wearable Devices project in my courses this spring. I have also learned to collaborate more efficiently with my peers and colleagues. I am also grateful for all the educational/ technological resources I learned during the fellowship retreat during the summer. I have incorporated many of the strategies I have learned throughout my fellowship in my courses, which have been beneficial to my students’ success and engagement.
My mentor partnership at NC State through the Kenan Fellow program was a great opportunity and means a great deal to me. I have made valuable connections with great professional individuals at NC State, I hope to continue to network and collaborate with my mentors throughout my career. I was able to work with two mentors, Dr. Veety from the ASSIST center and Dr. Jurr from the College of Textiles. Both of my mentors were extremely helpful and knowledgeable when it was time to 3D print, I had never used a 3D printer before so their assistance was greatly appreciated. My mentors allowed me to work alone in my wearable devices cohort. They checked in on us periodically to monitor our success and provide feedback. My two mentors had a lasting impact during and after my experience. I want to pursue my Ph.D. in textiles at NC State so my two mentors exposed me to departments and projects that their students were working on that were very innovative and intriguing. As I mentioned before I plan to continue to collaborate with my mentors after the fellowship ends. I have already brought my fall fashion merchandising students to the College of Textiles to see some of the innovative textiles projects they are producing.
Having the opportunity to collaborate with two other Kenan Fellows over several months was a great opportunity. I was able to receive valuable feedback on my Wearable Devices lesson plan and provide valuable feedback on their lesson plans during our face to face meetings and from our remote learning opportunities. My collaboration with other Kenan Fellows has broadened my professional network and allowed me to incorporate new and relevant strategies into my instructional practices. During the last PRL, I gained really valuable information to assist with developing and completing my Wearable Devices lesson plan. The Peer reviews, brainstorming and editing of lesson plans by both team members was valuable and appreciated. The KFP Professional Learning program has been more beneficial to me than other professional development I have had in the past because it allowed continuous collaboration and feedback over the course of several months. Most professional development is a one day experience with very little feedback or follow-up. I appreciated the ongoing process of the Professional Learning program. It allowed me to take what I learned, implement in the classroom, and share my findings and thoughts with my colleagues and pick their brains for ideas and suggestions.
One new strategy I have implemented is the use of Google Classroom in all of my courses. I was utilizing Edmodo in previous years. I decided to start using Google classroom because my district provides our students with Google accounts which makes utilizing Google Classroom easier for my students because they don’t have to worry about remembering passwords and Google Classroom can be streamlined with various programs that allow simultaneous collaboration. Parents/Guardians have access to all assignments and missing assignments as well as students who may have been absent. Google classroom has had a great impact on my lesson planning and delivery of lessons. Student grades have been impacted because parents stay on top of missed assignments and students who were absent can easily go into their particular classroom and complete or revise assignments. Students also collaborate through open responses.
During my fellowship I learned about the engineering design process. I have always asked my students in various courses to think through their project ideas and designs but I now have a name and process for my students to refer to. My students developing individual and group products/projects will benefit from the engineering design process. Being introduced to the engineering design process has changed how I will introduce, monitor, and evaluate my student projects. One possibility the engineering design process has allowed me is a process for my students that may be struggling with a product/project idea, a chance to reevaluate and redesign without feeling like they have been immediately concurred if it doesn’t immediately work. It affirmed my idea that many great ideas, inventions, and products took time, effort, and numerous attempts until creators were satisfied.
I plan to connect my summer internship experience to my classroom curriculum through various methods. I have asked my CTE director for a 3D printer, If I am able to attain one I will use maker space to create 3D objects in my fashion merchandising, marketing and entrepreneurship courses. I also look forward to coding in my courses with the Arduino Lily Pad and making wearable devices. I will stress that my students utilize the engineering design process when they are developing projects and products. also encouraging students to participate in the One Health competition. Lastly I plan to incorporate many of the techniques and tools I learned at NCCAT in my courses this upcoming year.
My most interesting moment during my internship at NC State’s ASSIST center was using the 3D printer and visiting the textiles labs. I have wanted a 3D printer for my class for a few years now. I’m glad I was given the opportunity to learn how to operate a 3D printer. Another interesting moment was going to the textiles lab and learning how students were screen printing electric circuits. My biggest challenge was learning how to code, I know with continued practice I will be able to teach basic coding to my students. I was also grateful for having the opportunity to visit various departments and labs. I was most intrigued by the knitting machines in the textiles labs. I worked with two mentors Dr. Veety from the ASSIST center and Dr. Jurr from the textiles department, but had the opportunity to meet many professionals working at NC state. Dr. Jurr was a great mentor, it was Dr. Jurr who suggested we visit his textiles labs and get assistance with our perfect posture flex sensor shirt. My biggest takeaway for my internship experience was no doubt learning how to code, screen printing electric circuits, and learning how to operate a 3D printer. I’m grateful for having a chance to experience the Kenan Fellows program.