Teacher Spotlight: Julie Schopp

July 2, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ STEM in Education,Teacher Spotlight Series

Julie Schopp

2nd grade teacher, LeRoy Elementary School

What does STEM look like in your classroom?

I have STEAM bins in my classroom. On Friday afternoons, students are given tasks to complete with selected bins. Then, students need to explain why they built something a certain way and what they had to think about while they were building. In addition, I have STEM mats within math stations where students spin a task to complete with LEGOs. They then have to explain their thinking. Students are also involved in coding activities using different activities and online resources such as and Scratch Jr. The most important part of any of these activities is the thinking and collaboration that occurs amo  ng my students. Finally, I use Defined Stem activities to correlate with our curriculum.  I have used the Grand Canyon (erosion) lesson and the Zoo Veterinarian (habitat) lesson.  Students are incredibly engaged in these lessons from doing research on Chromebooks and iPads to putting the finishing touches on their final products.  

What is your favorite STEM activity to do with students?

I LOVE using the STEM mats within math stations. My students love to complete these tasks and then explain and share with parents on SeeSaw.

What motivates you to provide STEM-based opportunities for students? 
It is truly amazing the level students can think at when given something they can relate to. The discussion that occurs when students work in groups inspires me to provide more opportunities for this type of collaboration.
What advice do you have for teachers who are unsure of how to integrate STEM into their curriculum? 
Start with one task and JUST TRY IT! Give students some materials, ask them to build something (like a boat, bridge, etc.) and just let them go!