STEMseeds8: Lesson Ideas with Bethany Ligon

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7th grade Arizona science teacher Bethany Ligon joined Amy Loeffelholz and Wesley Fryer on Saturday, November 22, 2014, for an hour-long Google Hang Out for STEMseeds discussing STEM lesson ideas including engineering design challenges. Bethany uses a variety of engineering design challenges she has found via Google, on Pinterest, and elsewhere to help students develop their problem solving, creativity, and collaboration skills. In the Google Hang Out, Bethany shared that some of her students ask “When are we going to play again?” when asking about the engineering design challenges. She has started posting about these activities on her blog, “Standing Out In The Middle.” Her students love these activities and do not necessarily see them as part of “doing school” or “learning,” yet there are a rich set of skills they develop through these activities. Check our shownotes for this episode for links to Bethany’s recent Engineering Design Challenge posts as well as other referenced links/resources from the show. The archived video from this episode is available via YouTube, and an audio-only version is available as well. Please follow @STEMseeds on Twitter to stay up to date about upcoming shows! Also follow Bethany Ligon (@ajsciencegal), Amy Loeffelholz (@AmyLoeffelholz) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) on Twitter.

Show Notes:

  1. Bethany Ligon on Twitter: @ajsciencegal
  2. Bethany Ligon’s professional blog: Out Standing in the Middle
  3. Design Challenge: Pipe Cleaner Structures (by Bethany Ligon)
  4. Engineering Design Challenge: Straw Structures #1 (by Bethany Ligon)
  5. Lunar Phases Interactive from McGraw Hill (not the same site Bethany mentions in the show, but a cool lunar online interactive none-the-less)
  6. PBS Kids Design Squad (lots of good design challenge ideas)
  7. Engineering GoForIt! – @egfi (excellent connections to Engineering careers)
  8. Science Buddies: Hands-on Science Resources for Home and School
  9. Nepris (great website for videoconferencing with STEM industry professionals)
  10. Video: Playground Design Finalists at Lakeview Elementary School in Yukon, Oklahoma
  11. Nov 1, 2014 Classroom 2.0 Webinar: “Technology Integration in a Junior High School” (Bethany Ligon was one of the presenters in this FANTASTIC show)
  12. YouTube Playlist: Enhanced eBooks on the “Minecraft Geometry Challenge” (47 and counting created by 4th and 5th graders at Independence Elementary in Yukon Public Schools, eBooks exported as videos instead of ePUBs)
  13. Amy Loeffelholz on Twitter: @AmyLoeffelholz
  14. Amy’s grade 4-5 classroom on Twitter: @lesstem
  15. Wes Fryer on Twitter: @wfryer
  16. Wes’ grade 4-5 classroom on Twitter: @iesSTEM
  17. STEMseeds on Twitter: @stemseeds

The MP3 audio version of this show was created by downloading the recorded Google Hangout video with, saving the converted audio file as a 32 kbps MP3 file. The mp3 audio file is hosted on AmazonS3 (the most affordable/cheap podcast host available, literally this costs a few pennies per month) and shared on this WordPress self-hosted blog with the free PodLove Podcast Publisher plugin.

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