STEMseeds15: Reflections on Visioning STEM Learning

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This podcast features recorded audio from a videoconference by Vinnie Vrotny (@vvrotny) on May 12, 2016. His presentation was part of a 4 hour workshop at Casady School in Oklahoma City on “Visioning the Future of Computer Science and STEM Education in K-12 Schools.” Vinnie discussed his experiences as a teacher and director working in Chicago-area and Houston-area independent schools helping develop updated computer science / digital literacy courses, curricula, and STEM / MakerSpace learning spaces for students as well as teachers. The podcast concludes with an audio reflection recorded by participants at the end of the workshop, sharing some of the key takeaways and learning points from the day. In addition to teachers and staff from Casady School, we were also joined by several community representatives from higher education as well as a local software design company during this workshop. Many thanks to Vinnie for sharing his experiences, perspectives, and advice to assist our faculty and staff as we work to envision a future program of computer science and STEM learning at Casady School. This podcast was originally posted on and cross-posted to Refer to the podcast shownotes for referenced resources and links from the presentation.


  1. Vinnie Vrotny on Twitter: @vvrotny
  2. Shared Notes from our Visioning workshop (Google Doc)
  3. STEM at Casady website:
  4. STEMseeds (@STEMseeds)
  5. FABlab at Rose State
  6. iThemes of Edmond, Oklahoma
  7. The Div (OKC-area nonprofit promoting coding for kids)
  8. 15 May 2016: Scratch Day in OKC – sponsored by The Div
  9. 15 May 2016: Proposal deadline for EncycloMedia 2016
  10. 6-9 June 2016: STEM “Mission to Mars” Teacher Camp at Casady
  11. Cyber Security/Digital Forensics at Rose State (including KidCamps)
  12. 15 July 2016: Minecraft Challenge Day at Casady
  13. 26-28 July 2016: iPad Media Camp at Casady
  14. Aug 26 & 27, 2016 – iPadPalooza at OU (@iPadpaloozaOU)
  15. 4-5 October 2016 – EncycloMedia Conference (OKC)
  16. 4-5 November 2016 – Digital Sharing Conference at Casady (@digishare)
  17. Original Opinion Podcast created as a summative recording at the conclusion of the institute (a Spanish portion was edited out of the version.)
  18. Cross-posted from

STEMseeds 3: Lesson Ideas with Christie Paradise

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In our third STEM seeds webcast, Oklahoma elementary educator and school STEM club sponsor Christie Paradise (@ChrisParadise on Twitter) shared lesson activities and projects she’s using with students this year. Christie’s school district, MidDel Public Schools, started STEM clubs at each elementary school during the 2012-13 school year. At Christie’s school, Steed Elementary, student STEM club members meet on Thursdays at 7:15 am before normal school classes begin. Elementary STEM clubs in MidDel focus primarily on BotBall and preparing for BotBall robotics competitions. Amy Loeffelholz and Wes Fryer also discussed their recent “STEM Showcase Day” in Yukon Public Schools prior to Spring Break, as we as grant and workshop ideas for upcoming months. Check out our show notes below, as well as our Show Notes Google Doc for links to referenced resources and lesson ideas. Many thanks to viewers who shared some of these links via our Google+ Hangout page.

Show Notes:

  1. Archived Google Hangout Video: STEMseeds – Interview with Christie Paradise
  2. Christie Paradise on Twitter: @ChrisParadise
  3. Classroom Champions Project (@classroomchamps) – Project connecting students in grades K-8 in high need schools with athletes who become a resource for teaching goal setting, perseverance and how to #dream big
  4. BotBall (@BotballRobotics– standards-based educational robotics program
  5. STRETCh (“Striving To Reach Every Talented Child) Instructor on Google+ and (via @pgeorge)
  6. 100+ STEM Websites and WebTools for Teachers Livebinder by @techwithtia (via @pgeorge)
  7. Tech Star Scratchables – great Scratch software curriculum by @MESTechDE (via @bcdtech)
  8. Kitchen Chemistry STEM Centers – by Wes
  9. NASA Robotics Resource Links
  10. Loopy – app for iPad that Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel used to sing Doo-Wop together (see this YouTube video for the entire performance – more on the Verge article: “Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel sing incredible doo-wop duet with iPad app”)
  11. Little Bits: “The easiest way to get started with electronics”
  12. PowToon for comic story building
  13. Stopmotion Cafe iPad app
  14. CDR Electronics at S Penn and I-240 in OKC (great source for used iPads and other technology devices)
  15. Survivor Case for iPads
  16. Follow Amy Loeffelholz on Twitter: @AmyLoeffelholz
  17. Follow Amy’s STEM class on Twitter: @lesSTEM
  18. Follow Wesley Fryer on Twitter: @wfryer
  19. Follow Wes’ STEM class on Twitter: @iesSTEM
  20. Intro and Outro Bumper Music: “Welcome to the Show” by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
  21. More show notes available on our STEM seeds show notes Google Doc

The Google Hangout on Air YouTube video for this episode was converted to an audio-only format with and normalized using the free online service, Auphonic.

BotBall photo used as the featured image for this post: