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 4: Lesson Ideas with Henry Ingwersen

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In our fourth STEM seeds webcast Henry Ingwersen, Amy Loeffelholz, Crystal Butcher and Wesley Fryer discussed STEM programs, classrooms and lesson ideas on Thursday, April 17, 2014, in an after-school Google Hangout. Henry is a grade 3-4 elementary classroom STEM teacher in Wells, Maine, and maintains a blog about some of his classroom STEM lessons. Links to referenced resources are listed in the shownotes below and on our Google Doc for STEMSeeds show notes.Thanks to our Google Hangout viewers for sharing lots of additional links! We did have some audio echo challenges about 20 minutes into our show but we got them resolved, so please don’t give up when you hear that part!

Show Notes:

  1. YouTube video archive of our Google Hangout
  2. Google Plus Event for our Google Hangout (with audience chat / links)
  3. STEM blog of Henry Ingwersen (@henryingwersen)
  4. Vital Signs Project (Citizen Scientists of Maine)
  5. Cornell Lab of Ornithology Birdsleuth K-12 Project (@BirdSleuth)
  6. Why Citizen Science? (by Cornell Lab of Ornithology Birdsleuth K-12 Project)
  7. Smart Citizen Weather Crowdsourcing Project
  8. Engineering is Elementary – @EiE_org (Boston Museum of Science)
  9. Leif Catches the Wind: A Mechanical Engineering Story (book)
  10. Picture Perfect Science Lessons Book (NSTA Press)
  11. YouTube Videos of US National Medal Laureates in Science and Technology Innovation (@NSTMF)
  12. 3-D printing and its impact on the medical implant industry
  13. Energy is Electrifying Unit (PDF) – via Maureen Tumenas (@bcdtech)
  14. Citizen science: Real-world applications for science students – via Maureen Tumenas (@bcdtech)
  15. 10 back-to-school projects for young citizen scientists – via Maureen Tumenas (@bcdtech)
  16. Tulips for Kids from Journey North – via Maureen Tumenas (@bcdtech)
  17. NASA S’COOL (Students’ Cloud Observations Online – @NASASCOOL) – via Maureen Tumenas (@bcdtech)
  18. March 2014 Newsletter of MIT STEM PALS – past archives – Facebook Page – via Maureen Tumenas (@bcdtech)
  19. Earthbridges Earth Day 2014 Webcast – via Peggy George (@pgeorge)
  20. Kevin Jarrett’s K-4 STEM Lab Blog – @K4STEMLAB – via Vicky Sedgwick (@VisionsByVicky)
  21. Sphero for Education – via Maureen Tumenas (@bcdtech)
  22. Follow Amy Loeffelholz on Twitter: @AmyLoeffelholz
  23. Follow Amy’s STEM class on Twitter: @lesSTEM
  24. Follow Wesley Fryer on Twitter: @wfryer
  25. Follow Wes’ STEM class on Twitter: @iesSTEM

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.

Featured image source:


2014 5th Grade STEM Class Notebook

4th and 5th grade teacher Amy Loeffelholz in Yukon, Oklahoma, is using printed “STEM Notebooks” in Spring 2014 with her students. These notebooks include project information like goals, lab forms, recording sheets, vocabulary activities, and more. Each student has a copy of this STEM notebook in their folder to use and write on. A scanned PDF of Amy’s 5th grade STEM notebook is available. Its 68 pages include the following sections:

  1. Grouping Sheet (p 2)
  2. Measurement Intro (p 3 – 14)
  3. Length Lab (p 15 – 22)
  4. Weight Measurement Lab (p 23 – 25)
  5. Measure to Measure (p 26 – 30)
  6. Metric Mania (p 31 – 32)
  7. Pringles Challenge (p 33 – 39)
  8. By Golly by Gum (p 40 – 44)
  9. Mint Race Carts (p 45 – 47)
  10. Catapults (p 48 – 53)
  11. Prosthetics (p 54 – 57)
  12. Bag the Beans (p 58 – 59)
  13. Pop Fly (p 60 – 61)
  14. Tanagrams (p 62 – 65)
  15. Grid Paper, Brainstorming, Grouping (p 66 – 68)

Note: This file was updated on 4/11/2014. The original was 70 pages, some of the above page numbers may be slightly off.