Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Here goes nothing...

Not sure what I've been waiting for with blogging. Maybe I've just been afraid of actually putting my thoughts out there where people can read them. But if I don't, then they just remain random thoughts that I probably won't act upon or tell anyone about. So this will be my venue. Not even sure where to start except that I know that I want a way to document my journey with STEM. It started my second year in PISD when I was asked to write Science curriculum in the summer. I had no clue what that entailed, but thought it sounded pretty lucrative. Turns out that was a game changing summer for me because it opened up a world that I never knew existed. Where had I been? How did I not know anything about this movement? I quickly jumped on board and haven't looked back. I started small in my classroom that year. Hanging signs around my room that described the careers behind the everyday items in the room...the pencils, the sharpener, the stapler...I changed my classroom jobs to reflect real life STEM careers. I added a redesign area in my room where students could bring items in that they believed had a flaw of some sort that could be improved. Everything I did was a small subtle shift but it made a big impact. The students asked more questions, they were so curious. I sold them that we were doing things differently. That they were going to be engineering and that this year would be like no other year they had ever had. We had a set "Engineering Time" where we did just that. I started the year off watching the IDEO shopping cart redesign video. I tied everything to a real world problem. The students started looking at the world through a different lens. I had begun something that even I didn't know where it could lead, but it was the spark my students needed. They owned their learning and took control of the reins. I steered us back on course if we veered to far off, but we were constantly learning. We did engineering challenges. We created cardboard games like Caine from Caine's Arcade that we shared at our Multicultural Night. We formed committees and redesigned our student desks. Teachers around the building began talking and our room was a must see. It started simply and took off. It was a risk that I'm glad that I took. One that began this journey....


  1. As her former principal, I am proud that Jessica had the courage to take this risk. She started a movement on our campus that paying off for teachers and kids across the grade levels. I encourage all principals to find the teacher who can be the beginner of the movement for STEM education. It only takes one to start the journey and the payoff is engaged learners and teachers who dive deeper into content.

  2. I was lucky enough to be there at the beginning of Jessica's STEM journey. I was amazed at the transformation Jessica's classroom and teaching mindset went through that first year and I continue to be amazed at her growth and perseverance and blown away by her ideas. I'm looking forward to reading more blog posts!