Laramie, Wyoming — The University of Wyoming Science Initiative’s Learning Actively Mentoring Program (LAMP) awarded seven scholarships to K-12 educators from Wyoming schools, enabling them to participate in the Roadmap to STEAM Conference at UW.
The conference is a professional development opportunity focused on active-learning experiences that focus on high-level engagement, innovative practices and instructional strategies to prepare students for success.
LAMP Director Rachel Watson is a member of the planning committee and selected the seven K-12 teachers to attend and participate in the conference.
Scholarship recipients were from:
- Douglas Primary School: Linda Shearer
- Riverton Middle School: Nanna Frazier, Alma Law and Tasya Ravellette
- Rock Springs High School: Larissa Apel, Kimberly Harper and Deborah Jensen
The teachers began with an immersive workshop that facilitated their design of classroom curriculum based on solving real community problems.
Jensen and Apel presented a session titled “Problem Based Learning in a Secondary Classroom.” The Rock Springs educators spoke about the many hands-on, minds-on activities that they had designed, developed and implemented in their high school classes. These ranged from developing a marketing plan for HPV vaccination to assessing overgrazing problems on riverbanks.
“Their biology, physical science and environmental science students have taken ownership of their own learning because of their investment in the problem-solving process,” Watson said. “Deb and Larissa also spoke about their collaboration between LAMP and the types of activities and student engagement made possible when the LAMP Roadshow visits.”
Frazier, Law and Ravellette developed lesson plans that will allow their sixth- and seventh-grade students to collaborate with Riverton city leaders to help provide student-driven solutions to an environmental problem, Watson said. The students will engage in soil sampling followed by microbial and chemical analysis.
Watson adds that UW undergraduate, graduate and faculty researchers will support the Riverton students.
The LAMP Roadshow is a team of undergraduate and graduate researchers and learning assistants that take active learning “on the road” to Wyoming K-12 schools.
During the conference, educators also participated in hands-on sessions facilitated by Wyoming K-12 teachers, college educators, statewide CTE (career and technical education) educators, Wyoming nonprofit organizations, such as Serve Wyoming, and invited keynote speakers. Current LAMP scholarship winners met with LAMP mentors and prior LAMP educators, and attended their sessions.
Watson said that the week was filled with “collaboration and inspiration.”
“The planning that was done in this one week will fuel future transformative learning experiences for hundreds of K-12 and college students,” she said. “The teachers left Laramie feeling jazzed about their teaching. This will allow them to share this enthusiasm with their students and to do so with support and cutting-edge pedagogical planning.”
The Wyoming Department of Education, in collaboration with Laramie High School, sponsored the conference.