This summer, I had the opportunity to work at the INL sponsored Summer STEM Camp in Idaho Falls. During the school year, I generally don’t have time to teach science as much as I would like. This externship was a valuable experience, as it provided me with an opportunity to focus on STEM topics full time, and to work with great people as well.
Another reason the externship has proven valuable, is that I became acquainted with individuals whose expertise will offer new learning experiences for my students. As a result, INL representatives will make classroom presentations in the fall, providing additional STEM experiences that my students wouldn’t normally receive.
INL was very supportive in providing resources for the lesson plans I developed for the STEM Camp. Using the theme of a popular cartoon, we learned about four elements: water, earth, fire, and air. We covered subject matter that included surface tension, buoyancy, Newton’s laws of motion, speed and velocity, energy, simple machines, and more. I think the kids had a great time, and I look forward to incorporating these lessons into my classroom in the fall.