Monday, January 25, 2016

NPPD STEM Lab Visits ESU 8 School

Today I had a chance to visit the NPPD STEM Lab in action at O'Neill High School.  NPPD is working with select Nebraska schools to pilot its innovative STEM Lab/Makerspace and O'Neill High School was lucky to be one of the host schools this winter.  NPPD set up the STEM Lab for two weeks in the OHS Library.  There all students, teachers, and even potentially community members can have access to the equipment and activities which cover a wide range of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills.  At the heart of the concept is the belief that students learn by "doing," and that by troubleshooting their failures, students can discover deeper learning outcomes.

Mr. Lowell Brown has been utilizing the STEM Lab with his high school science classes and Mr. Kevin Morrow has allowed his 8th grade Science classes time to experience the activities, but the learning does not stop there.  Students drop in to the library nearly every period-- during their study halls, over lunch hour, etc.-- and try out all the stations with unlimited access. Jennifer Swerczek, part of NPPD's Education Team, demonstrated a brief introduction to many of the stations.  However, when I discussed her role in managing the STEM Lab with students, she explained that each station was designed for independent exploration and discovery.  With task cards and challenges, students can truly learn many of the tasks with little or no adult help.  This is a listing of the cutting edge equipment that NPPD's STEM Lab offers:

Equipment list
The most exciting information that I learned in my visit at OHS today included NPPD's future vision for the STEM Lab/Makerspace.  At every school that they are currently testing out the lab, students and teachers are adding feedback in "Engineering Notebooks." This feedback, along with plans for additional equipment and activities, will be incorporated into the final completed lab which they hope to release at NETA (April 2016). Here they will also begin to accept reservation requests so that other Nebraska schools can have access to the entire package for 2 weeks at your school, too! Hopefully many of our ESU 8 schools will take advantage of this incredible opportunity through NPPD.  Whether your goal is to evaluate equipment for your own purchasing or to spark a disengaged student's interest, the NPPD STEM Lab seems to be a perfect learning opportunity for all!

View more photos here.

1 comment:

  1. Excited to see the NPPD STEM Lab/Makerspace at #NNNCSTI in June! #accentu8 #esu8