New Year!! January Blog
April 21st, 2018 by Jen Cypra
My Kenan fellowship has changed me in numerous ways. It opened my mind to learning about different STEM careers, helped me to become a better colleague and teacher.
As the Academically Intellectually Gifted teacher at my elementary school, I work with teachers at every grade level as well as coaches and other specialists. My fellowship and experience with STEM have helped me share what I have learned with others. For example, currently, I am teaching collaboratively on a unit about air-quality as well as a PBL linking second grade sound standards with social studies at the same time.
Ever since I first became interested in STEM and Makerspaces, I have slowly become more confident and skilled at delivering instruction to elementary students. I feel that my fellowship helped me to gain a more solid understanding of different concepts as well as the importance of STEM for my students in this changing 21st-century.
Spending the summer at the Environmental Protection Agency allowed me to meet a variety of professionals working in different fields. It showed me that there are so many options available to students who are passionate about STEM. And reminded me that it is my role to let them learn about these possibilities for their future. I have been fortunate to have one of the educators from the EPA come to my school once a week to work with a small group of students. This connection has helped to introduce my students to someone who can share her knowledge of environmental issues with them.
Overall I feel very fortunate for having been able to participate in the professional development and internship as a Kenan Fellow. The experience has helped me to continue growing and become a better educator.