‘Make, Play, Connect’ Gathers Educators To Develop STEAM

‘Make, Play, Connect’ gathers Educators to Develop STEAM

By Tory Dahlhoff, Director of Marketing

Earlier this month, the University of Illinois Extension hosted ‘Make, Play, Connect’ at Peoria Playhouse. The event brought 35 regional teachers together to share ideas for developing the “maker mindset” in their classrooms.

“We were so impressed with the talent, motivation and energy of all who attended,” said Kathie Brown, the community and economic development educator for UofI Extension in the GP region.  “Our goal for this initial networking event was to learn what’s already happening in the region and to start to build connections.”

Teachers discussed the need for sharing best practices in the classroom, training in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) activities, and greater access to informational and material resources to develop more hands-on learning experiences for their students.  Information gathered from the event will be used to create a plan for “shared learning opportunities that foster skill building and collaboration.”

Kathie, who is also a member of our Catalyst team, is working to enhance STEAM curriculum in our communities to develop the critical skills in students needed to pursue careers in science, technology and engineering.  Supporting our teachers’ ability to foster the “maker mindset” in their classrooms is key to generating a 21st century workforce in our region.

UofI Extension plans to hold a follow-up meeting on February 7 to discuss the next steps in creating a regional learning exchange.  Details will be announced after the new year.

In the meantime, check out the list of resources Kathie posted on the UofI Extension blog.  Enjoy this great reading material to keep your Maker Minds moving!