STEM Workshops on Request: Design Your District PD Program

What Teachers Say About PRISM Workshops

I feel confident about applying what I have learned to my own classroom instruction and leadership.

These have been great. I’d love to join all of them if there is space

Doing the hands on, collaborative virtual work was really helpful.

I love when we get to really make stuff in workshops!

Practical application that was highlighted and demonstrated.

This was exactly what I hoped, high-level critical thinking and content centered. I very much appreciate all the work you are doing to bring this and other materials forth.

 Contact PRISM with Questions or Concerns

 

ENGINEERING and SCIENCE WORKSHOPS
Grades PreK-3
Engineering Design Challenges Save the Day! All hands-on deck!
Engage in an engineering design challenge that meets content standards and save the gingerbread man from the fox by infusing literature with engineering.
Facilitators: Dr. Vince Walencik and Lori Clerkin
Finding Engineering Design Challenges in Children’s Literature
Develop your own engineering design challenge based on children’s literature that enhances language arts literacy, a fundamental component of early childhood education.
Facilitators: Dr. Vince Walencik and Lori Clerkin
Grades K-6
Science and Literature: Perfect Together!
Explore the relationship between literature and science! In this workshop, participants will learn the importance of using literature as a method for teaching science. Fiction and nonfiction examples will be provided to show how to incorporate reading and science. They complement each other because of the similarities between reading skills and science process skills. Both are based on thinking processes, and the skills learned for both are used in problem solving.
Facilitators: Lori Clerkin & Catalina Villasuso
Grades K-8
Engineering Challenges
Lead children in fun, engaging engineering challenges using everyday materials found at home.  Learn about resources to help you find great challenge ideas and how to align these challenges with NGSS.
Facilitator: Jean Myers
Adopt-a-Spot: Using Outdoor Spaces to Support Student Inquiry at Home or in School
Whether they’re at home or in school, don’t let the colder months stop you from getting your students outside for science learning through journals. Adopt-a-Spot is the perfect vehicle to spark curiosity and encourage students to explore their own surroundings through investigations that focus on natural phenomena.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht 
Grades K-12
Teaching Virtually
Get the most out of your virtual teaching experience, whether using Zoom or Google Meet.  Take full advantage of Meeting experiences to enhance student learning.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht 
Grades 1-4
Plant Life Cycles
Participants will engage in investigations of plant life cycles and common patterns that flowering plants follow from seed germination into adult plants. All will be done while addressing the 3 dimensions of the NGSS. Topics that will be addressed during the workshop: seeds and their characteristics, pollination, importance of insects in plant growth. Teachers will receive instructions to conduct a few simple investigations prior to the workshop. Materials needed: dried beans from a supermarket. An assortment of seed planting “pods” from the Stop & Shop Growth kit will be mailed free on request.
Facilitators: Anna Mazzaro & Catalina Villasuso
Grades 3-8
Arguing About Climate Change
Explanation and Argument are essential practices of not only science learning, but of all the academic disciplines. In this minds-on workshop we will explore climate change as the phenomenon to implement the CER model as scientists, readers, writers, and thinkers.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht 
Maintain Hands-On Science Learning During a Pandemic
Let’s focus on how to foster engaging, hands-on experiences for your students by converting established classroom investigations into at-home investigations, using everyday objects and resources.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht
Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions: NGSS Practices
Dive deeply into the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) to teach students to ask better, more probing questions, whether virtually or in-person.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht 
Claims, Evidence, Reasoning (CER) in Science
Workshop participants will explore the CER framework to construct explanations and engage in scientific argumentation.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht
Teaching Virtually: Tech Tools
This workshop will focus on using such tech tools as Padlet, Ed Puzzle, and Pear Deck to enhance your teaching toolbox, whether you are using Google Meet, Zoom, or are teaching in person.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht
At-Home Simple Hands-On Investigations in Earth Science
In this workshop we will focus on how to foster engaging, hands-on experiences for your students by converting simple classroom investigations into at-home investigations, using everyday objects and resources.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht
Schoolyard Science
What better time to get your students outdoors for learning science than during a pandemic, whether they’re learning from home or the school?  This workshop will focus on outdoor teaching strategies to spark student curiosity and encourage them to explore their own surroundings by authentically engaging in investigations that focus on natural phenomena.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht
Literacy & Science: Guiding Readers & Writers Through Science
Reading and writing skills will be integrated with the thinking skills involved in science inquiry in this workshop.  Participants will investigate inquiry as a process for exploring scientific concepts, teaching reading for understanding in nonfiction, expository text, and communicating ideas to others.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht
NGSS Practices: Using Everyday Objects to Teach Energy, Force, and Motion
Whether you’re teaching from home or in the classroom, take advantage of everyday toys and resources, to create NGSS-aligned, inquiry-based investigations in physical science to learn about Energy, Forces and Motion.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht
Taking Science Outdoors
Outdoor education encourages students to explore the world in which they live by authentically engaging in investigations that focus on natural phenomena. The NGSS seeks to shift the focus of science to investigation and explanation about how natural phenomena occur, in order to develop deeper understanding about how to solve problems. In this workshop we will explore how to use the outdoors – whether it’s one’s backyard, the edge of a playground, schoolyard, neighborhood, or community – as a vital element of exemplary science teaching aligned to the NGSS.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht
Grades: 4-8
NGSS Practices: Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions
In this workshop, we will dive deeply into the QFT (Question Formulation Technique) as a method for teaching students to ask better, more probing questions in the classroom. We will utilize a variety of teaching and learning methods to explore QFT tools and resources, and examine how to apply the strategies in the individual classroom, whether students are learning from home or in the classroom. Although this workshop is geared to the science classroom, the QFT process can be applied in all subject areas.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht
NGSS Practices: Constructing Arguments & Explanations
One of the essential practices of not only the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), but also of the Common Core Content Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts, is the ability to engage in evidence-based argumentation. In this workshop participants will have the opportunity to engage in investigations that will provide the framework for deeper understanding of two related practices: constructing explanations and argumentation.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht
Integrating the NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts into the Curriculum
In this workshop participants will learn more about the characteristics of the eight cross cutting concepts, before exploring strategies to integrate the concepts into established hands-on investigations. Special emphasis will be placed on the three concepts: patterns, cause & effect, and stability and change.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht
Systems & Systems Thinking
Are you looking for ways to more fully implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into your curriculum? This workshop will explore how to weave together the three interconnecting dimensions to develop a comprehensive curriculum. Participants will learn how to use phenomena as a starting point for lessons and then intertwine Science and Engineering Practices, Cross Cutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas.
Facilitator: Dr. Katrina Macht
Grades 7-10
Engineering Design Challenges that are Content-Driven
Participants will be provided with engineering design challenges that are relevant to the students’ world while meeting appropriate grade level content standards. Emphasis is placed on application and assessment of NGSS through the engineering design challenge activities.
Facilitators: Dr. Vince Walencik and Lori Clerkin
Develop Your Own Content-Driven Engineering Design Challenges
Participants will develop their own engineering design challenges based on contemporary issues such as global warming, coronavirus, pollution, local environmental concerns, etc. Emphasis is placed on applying content standards as an integral part of the engineering challenge.
Facilitators: Dr. Vince Walencik and Lori Clerkin
MATHEMATICS WORKSHOPS

Facilitator: Dr. Nicole Panorkou

All of these workshops address techniques for teaching in a virtual environment

Grades K-3
Teaching geometry
This workshop will explore free digital resources (applets and digital activities) that can be used to support students’ conceptual understanding of geometry in the early years.
Grades K-6
Teaching Elementary Math Using Virtual Manipulatives
Explore free resources of virtual manipulatives that promote hands-on math explorations and enhance learning.
Teaching number and number sense
This workshop will explore free digital resources (applets and digital activities) that can be used to support students’ understanding of number and number sense. This workshop will focus on grades K-6, however it will also be useful for teachers of other grades who have students who struggle with this concept.
Teaching area measurement
This workshop will focus on students’ learning progression of area measurement and explore free digital resources (applets and digital activities) that teachers can use to support students’ conceptual understanding of this topic. This workshop will focus on grades 2-5, however it will also be useful for teachers of other grades who have students who struggle with this concept.
Teaching nets, surface area, and volume
This workshop will focus on students’ learning progression of volume measurement and the distinction between surface area and volume. Participants will explore free applets and digital activities that can be used to teach nets, surface area, and volume. This workshop will focus on grades 5-6, however it will also be useful for teachers of other grades who have students who struggle with this concept.
Teaching ratios
This workshop will focus on the teaching of ratios using different representations. Participants will explore free digital resources (applets and digital activities) that can be used to support students’ ratio reasoning. This workshop will focus on grades 6-8, however it will also be useful for teachers of other grades who have students who struggle with this concept.
Teaching equations
Explore free digital resources (applets and digital activities) that can be used to support students’ conceptual understanding of equations. This workshop will focus on linear equations in grades 6-8, however we also welcome teachers of other grades who have students who struggle with this concept.
Teaching geometric transformations
This workshop will explore free digital resources (applets and digital activities) that can be used to support students’ conceptual understanding of geometric transformations.  This workshop will focus on transformations in grades 6-8, however it will also be useful for teachers of other grades who have students who struggle with this concept.
Teaching rational numbers
This workshop will explore real world problems and free digital resources for developing conceptual understanding of rational numbers. This workshop will focus on rational numbers content of grades 6-7, however it will also be useful for teachers of other grades who have students who struggle with this concept.
Teaching equivalence and addition & subtraction of fractions
This workshop will focus on supporting students’ conceptual understanding of equivalence and addition & subtraction of fractions through technology. This workshop will focus on grades 3-5, however it will also be useful for teachers of other grades who have students who struggle with this concept.
Teaching multiplication and division of fractions
This workshop will focus on supporting students’ conceptual understanding of multiplication and division of fractions through technology. This workshop will focus on grades 4-6, however it will also be useful for teachers of other grades who have students who struggle with this concept.