Washington Business Winter 2018 | Washington Business - Page 47

business backgrounder | education & workforce “To find good professional development focused on science is so rare, and this is that opportunity.” — Heidi Hoiland, a sixth-grade science teacher at Hockinson Middle School in Brush Prairie, and a STEM Institute participant a natural collaboration Ten teachers came from across the state to the STEM Institute. It was a meeting of the minds and a natural collaboration. The AWB Institute wanted to bring teachers into the world of business, to give them practical experience and real-world context for their lessons. Meanwhile, PNNL wants to spread the word about who they are and what they do, said Amy Anderson, director of the AWB Institute. “We have a big disconnect in younger generations in what their options and opportunities are in the work — Meredith “Peggy” Willcuts, senior STEM education consultant in the world,” Anderson said. The idea is to help teachers explore Office of STEM Education at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory new occupational vistas, which they can then each share with hundreds of students. “It helps them think outside the box of their classroom when developing curriculum for students,” Anderson said. Heidi Hoiland, a sixth-grade science teacher at Hockinson Middle School in Brush Prairie, said the STEM Institute made the teachers feel like students, then had them put their “teacher hat” back on to figure out how to translate the experience to their pupils. “It’s a great way to get into a professional development opportunity that is outside the walls of a conference room,” Hoiland said. “It is content focused. We spend so much time on best practices in education... to find good professional development focused on science is so rare, and this is that opportunity.” Steven Gjefle, an eighth-grade teacher at Frontier Middle School Video Extra: Watch AWB’s PNNL STEM video at in Moses Lake, said this was a good opportunity to see the world in a www.bit.ly/PNNL-STEM-video different way — a key trait that unites scientists, teachers and students. AWB Institute: “I live in the desert here in Moses Lake, but I haven’t gone out and www.awbinstitute.com looked at it with the eyes of a research scientist, leading you along and PNNL STEM education: allowing you to look at things through a different lens... That’s what we externalaffairs.pnnl.gov/default aspx?topic=STEM_Programs do as teachers.” “You never know where your next patentable worker will come from, your next Nobel Prize winner. The value of exposing students to a passionate teacher as early as kindergarten is so valuable. You never know when it will turn their heads.” winter 2018 47