My Internship Experience

     The most interesting moment for me was when I was able to speak with the welder. He explained everything to me about what he does, which I learned relies highly on math. He even gave me a mini math lesson, which involved a good amount of math that I had not heard since high school. I remember many people saying “we don’t need to know this, because we’ll never use it.” They were definitely proven wrong. It was amazing to see how what we learn in school does come into play later on in life. I was also amazed that I was actually able to remember how to find the area of a circle. 🙂
     I think the one of the biggest challenges a teacher faces is taking something new and trying to find a way to incorporate it into the curriculum. It was a little bit of a struggle for me, because the information I learned was so advanced for second grade. However, it did become easier once I started to focus mainly on the process. The process I learned can be simplified into easy to understand language and examples. However, I did not want to just push all the other information I learned to the side. Students will benefit from not just knowledge of the process, but also knowledge of what each job is and how it gets done. I think it will help students understand the assembly process, as well as, give them insight to what could possibly be a future career for them.

The biggest take away for me is how much of the assembly process involves collaboration. It was amazing to be able to walk through the process from start to end and see how each group worked together to assemble one machine. In my classroom I am always trying to foster collaboration. The students learn to work together to complete an assignment, as well as, how to peer review other students writing. It is a skill that students will need in the real world to succeed. I think it will help the students to see and hear about how effective collaboration can be. It will help the students when they have to collaborate during the project.



From Internship to Educational Resources

I have enjoyed my internship experience. I came into the experience being completely new to the assembly process and the logistics behind it. I have learned a great deal and look forward to transferring what I’ve learned into lessons for the students. However, I found out, when creating my product, that there are challenges and successes involved in the process.


1. Just being new to the assembly process myself has proved challenging. I am having to learn as I go and take notes to be sure that I do not miss anything. Sometimes the technical information can be difficult to understand. However, with what I’ve learned and researched I know this experience will prove to be a valuable resource.

2. Toning down what I’ve learned to a second grade level has also proved challenging. I want students to be challenged, but not too much that they cannot understand the assembly process. However, I do not want the information to be too easy for the students as well. It can be challenging to find that middle where the students gain an understanding, but are also challenged.


  1. Focusing on the assembly process instead of all the mechanics has proven helpful. The mechanics can prove to be more technical in vocabulary and math. Therefore, I have been focusing more on the steps of the assembly process. I think this will help to give students more of a basic understanding.
  2. Collaboration! In my classroom I try to have students collaborate as much as possible. I want students to learn how to efficiently and effectively communicate and work with their peers. The assembly process is full of collaboration, since each “department” has to work together to create one machine. This is great, because students will be able to see how collaborating with others can be beneficial especially within the work place.

A Great Opportunity

I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be interviewed for the local paper. I was recognized for what I am doing this summer with Kenan Fellows and the Internship. It was a great experience to be recognized and to show the community that teachers are always working to grow in their field through unique methods, such as local community internships.


Summer Institute Review

(1) The week long Summer Institute was filled with many highlights. I left the Institute with new knowledge of how to be a leader, what my brand is, and how to incorporate STEM into the classroom/curriculum. I enjoyed being able to meet with like-minded individuals, who offered ideas, suggestions, and advice.

The overall highlight for me though would be the concurrent sessions and edcamp. I liked how we were able to move between the different sessions and groups. It gave me the opportunity to learn new ideas that I could incorporate. I also enjoyed how the sessions and edcamp also allowed for me to hear ideas from the other fellows. Some of the ideas I had used before, however many of them were brand new.

(2) There are many ways that I plan to implement what I learned at the Summer Institute in my classroom. The first would be technology. I had never heard of digital portfolios before attending the concurrent session. I think it is beneficial not only for having one place for collecting student work, but also for allowing student choice. I liked the idea of students picking what goes into their portfolio. This way students in a way will be assessing themselves. The second would be project based learning (pbl). PBL is hard to incorporate into a second grade classroom. However, I was able to incorporate RAFTS into my classroom this past year focusing on culture and diversity. I plan to work on another RAFT project that could be part PBL as a way to introduce students to the concept. This could serve as a stepping stone to having full PBL in the classroom.

(3) Compared to other professional development (PD) I have attended, the Summer Institute proved to be more beneficial to me. I always learn something new with every PD that I attend, however, I feel like I walked away from the Summer Institute with a wealth of knowledge and resources of how to incorporate it into the classroom. I liked how the PD was not constantly the same thing of hearing a lecture and taking notes. I enjoyed that the PD was some of that, but I also enjoyed that it offered a choice in what you went to and had some hands on activities, such as the all day scavenger hunt. All in all I will say that the Summer Institute by far has been the best PD that I have been too, since I started teaching.


Scavenger Hunt!




What a day! Third day of Institute consisted of a day long scavenger hunt full of citizen science activites. It was fun, but exhausting. My team called ourselves “The Exploring Stemtastic Collaborators!” First we traveled to Judaculla Rock to hear the history behind it and knock out some tasks.

Then it was off to East LaPorte for a delicious picnic lunch and more tasks. The first was Ant Picnic, which I had never done before but found to be something I could definitely implement in my classroom. I also discovered that ants love chocolate cookies, but hate cream cheese. 🙂 After Ant Picnic we were able to complete tasks and watch and learn about a Kick Net Activity. I found it really interesting to learn about the insects that live in Tuckasegee River and how to determine the water quality.

Then it was back to NCAAT to finish off the tasks! We had to take photos of insects, flowers, trees, and even poison ivy. From a safe distance of course. However, I thought one of the coolest things was the ropes course. We had to collaborate and work as a team to not only build one part, but to balance on another. Talk about difficult. My team rocked it though!

All in all the day was great! It proved to be a fun way to not only compete, but to learn about science, social studies, and even use some logical reasoning. I also liked how the tasks involved collaborative thinking and teamwork. My team of course rocked it and came in second place!! 🙂

What I hope to gain from my fellowship experience…

Through participating in the Kenan Fellowship experience I hope to gain knoweledge and understanding of three things.

First, I hope to gain a basic understanding of STEM and how it applies to Mertek where I will be interning. I only focus on a basic understanding, because that is what my second graders will need, since many have not been introduced to STEM.

Second, I would like to gain the knowledge of how to apply what Mertek does with the second grade curriculum.  In other words, how can I apply it in my classroom that will be both relatable and understandable for my second graders. Perhaps I could incoporate what I learned at Mertek into a science or math based project for my students.

Lastly, I hope to take my understanding of STEM and apply across the curriculum. I know the main focus is on math and science. However, I want to be able to incorporate other subjects, such as writing and social studies.

First Day of Institute!

I found the first day of the Summer Institute very informative. It was great to meet with like-minded educators, who seek to further develop in leadership in the classroom, school, and community. As a fairly new teacher, with only two years under my belt, I loved the collaboration aspects of the Institute. It was great to hear from fellow educators that have different backgrounds and expertise. I look forward to participating in many more collaborative sessions and learning new instructional techniques that can only help me to improve not only as an educator, but as an individual.