For this first externship, I was able to work with the STEM scholars’ program through Idaho National Laboratory. I created lesson plans, then taught those plans to hundreds of local students. Some of them were students that went to my regular school, and one was even a child I had taught in daycare 3 years ago! These lessons had to do with Physics as that was this year’s theme. The lessons I created could be reconstructed and used in my normal classroom this upcoming school year. The students showed enthusiasm and interest as I presented some facts and ideas, then they went to work on the projects that I lined up for them. They had a great time, and I learned a lot more about teaching, children, and other businesses. Though I did not learn anything new about a STEM field outside of teaching, I did learn more about the community around me and gained an appreciation for more of the locals. STEM needs to be implemented more in classrooms and because of this experience, it is my goal to implement STEM more in the future.
The STEM scholars’ program has been running for 3 years and this was the first year that they had teacher externs. They expressed gratitude and excitement for the program. Hopefully, they will be able to obtain more teacher externs in the future and provide more teachers with the experiences of the STEM scholar camp. They also implemented field days where we all got to teach a lesson outside and the students enjoyed that part of our time. In my group, we did exploding art with paint and alka-seltzers. It was a great experience, and I am grateful to have been part of it.