Pittsburgh, PA - Educators' Workshop
Arconic Foundation supported STEM teacher professional development for educators in the region surrounding Arconic facilities in Pittsburgh, New Kensington, and Cranberry Township in Pennsylvania. This workshop was conducted with a partnership between Solar 4R Schools and ASSET Stem Inc. The partnership was developed as a method of combining curricular resources and collaborating on new hands-on content for the workshop itself. Specifically, workshop activities were reworked in order to be more inquiry driven and include formative assessment pieces that are effective for usage during and engineering design cycle. Teachers for this workshop came from as far as two and a half hours away for the workshop, from a diverse range of communities. School populations for teachers ranged from highly rural, small schools to urban inner city schools, and teachers anticipate reaching over 1,900 students in a year using new renewable energy curricula and science kits.
On the day of the workshop, teachers explored renewable energy content with three culminating hands-on activities throughout the day. These three activities were: 1) the construction of solar ovens with an engineering design challenge to make the most effective containers, 2) building solar circuits to collect data indicating the function of series and parallel circuits, and 3) the completion of a full engineering design cycle while constructing solar cars. Nearly every section had been customized from previous workshops with ASSET as a collaborating partner. One significant change involved teachers working as a group to identify more specific variables to test in the solar oven activity. At the end of the workshop, each of the 10 participating teachers received a science kit valued at $750 with enough materials to build solar circuits and solar cars with their classes. In addition, they received ACT 48 credit hours and substitute reimbursement.
Arconic Foundation is proud to support Solar 4R Schools and bring this innovative program to Arconic communities nationwide. The mission of the Arconic Foundation is to advance science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and skills training worldwide, with a special emphasis on engaging and creating access for underrepresented and underserved groups. Through our partnerships, we are helping to change the perception of manufacturing by creating excitement around the rewarding career opportunities available to the next generation of talent – from career and technical education to the most advanced robotics and digital manufacturing. Solar 4R Schools is a proven and innovative model that we believe can bring to life the issues and solutions around energy management. Energy is a critical component of what we do in industry and in all of our personal lives – it is a topic that we want our youth educated about so that they can solve the problems of tomorrow.