RPS teachers participate in STEM learning workshop

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Dozens of Rockford teachers are participating in a workshop to learn new ways of teaching science and math in the classroom.

"Math and science is the foundation of a lot of our upcoming cutting edge careers," said
Science Teacher, Jennifer Meinke.

Meinke believes the best way to get through to her 8th-grade students at Rockford Environmental Science Academy is by providing real-life examples of how science is useful.

"If I can come in and say, 'look at how they are using this science' and be excited about it and enthusiastic and this allows kids to realize science is cool," Meinke said.

Meinke along with dozens of other teachers are taking part in the Northern Illinois STEM Ready Project.

"We are working with the teachers on putting them into the role of the students. So they have been working with math faculty at NIU and have been doing some hands-on learning," said Kristin Brynteson, NIU STEM.

Teachers also learn from local employers about how math and science are used in their daily lives.

"We had a speaker from Argon Lab and they talked about some cool breakthrough science research they are doing," Meinke said.

"It helps to address them, when am I ever going to use that. Well, the way you are using it right now is a way to will use it in the workforce," Brynteson said.

Many teachers plan on bringing this back to their schools to share with their faculty.

"I'm hoping that you know, I can just bring in some new ideas at team planning meetings when you know we are talking about lessons," Meinke said.

This two-week workshop wraps up on Friday and then teachers will have four follow-up days in the fall.