My long term ImagineIT goals continue to be to provide more choice in how my students engage with STEM while also working more collaboratively with colleagues and parents so that more of my students will seriously pursue STEM pathways into high school and beyond. Changes I anticipate include being able to collaborate more with my colleagues on planning and implementing shared multidisciplinary problem based learning projects for our students that imbed STEM concepts, skills, and practices.
I need to continue to be “courageous enough” to continue trying new ways of increasing my students’ interests in STEM as they move onto high school and beyond. I feel that I am courageous enough to abandon my past practices of trying to start too many initiatives at once. This stems from my yearning to provide as much as possible for my students but I have now grown to learn that change takes time and that time is needed to more deeply reflect on what has been working and what needs to be refined if I am to harness my full leadership potential and maximize the impact of my ImagineIT.
I plan to “diversify my network” by reaching out to those who do not just “speak of taking risks, but who actually will dive in with me” in the next 5 years. Successes I will build upon include piloting a new gardening and nutrition program across grade levels and disciplines by partnering with our school’s special education teachers and our art teacher. I anticipate the impact of programs like this spreading further as we continue to make public the collaborative nature of our students work and they see the enthusiasm coming from our shared students. I anticipate other multidisciplinary projects like Global Ed and our students’ own creations in our new FUSE STEAM Studio this coming school year will only aid in fulfilling my ImagineIT goals. In order to diversify my Personal Learning Network, PLN, I will continue to build upon successful partnerships with local universities such as Northwestern, University of Illinois Chicago, and Columbia College, corporate sponsored STEM programs like Project NEED and Energizing Student Potential, government sponsored STEM programs at Chicago’s rich STEM museums and Argonne National Labs, and retired STEM professionals, teachers, and university professors who have expressed interests in the work my students do in our classroom. Thanks to MSUrbanSTEM, I am now able to do this more efficiently with technology such as Twitter, blogging, and Google Hangout conferencing.
Project NEED Energizing Student Potential Program: I am in year 2 of a sustainable partnership that provides ongoing PD in energy sciences including yearly National Conferences, classroom STEM visitors from energy corporations such as Peoples’ Gas and Exelon, and funding for materials and field trips. Will be expanding to impact more colleagues and classrooms at our school next year: http://www.need.org/
The Kitchen Community: Ongoing partnership that provides professional development in agricultural and culinary arts education for integrating gardening and nutrition programs at our school, including funding and school visitors. Will be expanding to include more of my colleagues and grade levels next year as part of my ImagnineIT. https://thekitchencommunity.org/where-were-growing/chicago/
National Science Teachers Association: Provides numerous opportunities to grow my PLN over the next 5 years through connecting with Science teachers from across the nation, local and national professional development series, and sharing of high quality STEM lesson ideas: https://www.nsta.org/membership/
Rogelio Botello: Engineer, experienced stock market investor, and partner with my after school STEM initiatives such as $TEM+ Club. Rogelio is also a partner in securing funding.
Northwestern University Science in Society: Partnership in helping my students connect with STEM grad students on a weekly mentoring basis after school. Partnership in classroom guests speakers series and science fair support.
Northwestern University Engineers Without Borders: Partnership with after school $TEM+ Club, classroom guest speakers series, and field trips to NU.
Henry Mann: Developer and Lead contact from Northwestern University for FUSE STEAM Studio Grant project
Stacy Brill: Northwestern University grad student who is helping mentor my students by helping them find STEM summer jobs at institutions such as Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, also coplanning with me to establish a sustainable network of African American STEM mentorships for my students
At least 5 potential resources for funding (1 should specifically be opportunities available to CPS teachers)
Chicago Foundation for Education: Small Grant, ARLI Teacher Research Grant, Teacher Study Group and Fellowship Grants, several of which I have already been awarded: http://www.cfegrants.org/
Donorschoose Grants: Write these each year and have been awarded over $100,000 worth of STEM materials and opportunities for my students: www.donorschoose.org
FUSE STEAM Studio Grant which is a partnership between Northwestern University and several corporate sponsors: Already received $20,000 STEAM Studio for my students but will provide more opportunities to sustain the program: https://www.fusestudio.net/
Project NEED (National Energy Education Development Project) and Energizing Student Potential Program: In year 2 of partnership that provides professional development, funding ($1,500 annually) for STEM field trips and classroom materials for students to learn about Energy sciences, and classroom guest speakers: http://www.need.org/
NSTA Grants: Numerous grants to support STEM initiatives: http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_08_30_grants.htm