Rural Schools Collaborative supports the intentional recruitment, preparation, and retention of rural educators through the Rural Teacher Corps concept. Through RSC's Catalyst Initiative, $25,000 planning grants are directed toward efforts to launch new RTC initiatives. The University of Wyoming's Rural Teacher Corps was a member of the inaugural 2021 cohort. We're overjoyed to see their teacher corps take flight, building on a partnership with Teton Science Schools, RSC's Northern Rockies Regional Hub Lead!
This feature was provided by Geoff Krall, University of Wyoming Ph.D. student and Graduate Assistant for the Wyoming Rural Teacher Corps.
Eager students and parents experienced a night of hands-on STEM activities planned and facilitated by the University of Wyoming and Teton Science Schools’ Wyoming Rural Teacher Corps.
Rotating around the gym of Rock River School, attendees got to learn about and discuss Science and Engineering concepts with future teachers. Rock River opened their doors to the Wyoming Rural Teacher Corps to bring in supplies and enthusiasm to offer to aspiring young scientists.
The Corps consists of twelve pre-service teachers interested in learning more about teaching in a rural environment. The family STEM night was part of a year’s worth of experiences helping future teachers learn what it’s like to teach in a rural community. Other events included book discussions, school visits, pairing with practicing mentor teachers, and a retreat at Teton Science Schools in Jackson, WY.
The Corps chose and designed the hands-on activities for the event. These activities included the following:
Bungee Barbie. Participants created a bungee jump out of rubber bands for different figurines. Students experimented using differing numbers of rubber bands to get as close to the ground as possible without touching it.
S’mores Packaging. Students used their design thinking skills to make a package for S’mores that could withstand the elements.
Squishy Circuits. Students created working electrical circuits using LED lights, batteries, wires, and playdough.
Parachute and Parafoils. Students created a parachute for figurines out of different sized coffee filters, tissue paper and other materials. They then tried to get the parachute to remain airborne as long as possible.
Newspaper Chairs. Attendees created a chair out of old newspapers, duct tape and other materials. They crafted chairs strong enough to hold a person.
The night was preceded by a school-provided dinner for families and Rural Teacher Corps members. Attendees were excited by the level of engagement from students and are already looking forward to a repeat of Family STEM Night from the Rural Teacher Corps next year.
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