Springdale, AR--Educators' Workshop
Arconic Foundation supported STEM teacher professional development for educators that teach students in districts surrounding their facilities in Springdale AR. Springdale Public Schools and the University of Arkansas’ Center for Math and Science Education worked with Solar 4R Schools to host the workshop and recruit teachers.
Teachers attended this workshop on a school day, as many of their classrooms were conducting post-testing activities. The overall workshop’s activities’ were fairly diverse and personalized to the needs of the educator community. Important highlights to note were the inclusion of two new guest speakers and the completion of a new workshop activity geared toward materials science and semiconductors. In the morning, Mandy James from Arconic spoke to teachers about the opportunities available to both teachers and high school graduates regionally. She additionally spoke about the history of the facility in Springdale and discussed the importance of STEM pipeline development for the organization. During lunch teachers received a presentation from David McNew at Ozarks Electric Cooperative. A Project Manager focused on the Ozarks Natural Energy renewables wing of the utility, he provided an overview of local solar installation that has taken place in their territory and answered questions teachers had about student opportunities. Regarding the new activities teachers received, Solar 4R Schools worked with the district to select a specific NGSS Performance Expectation focusing on materials science. During the workshop, teachers underwent a hands-on activity that modeled the exploration of the properties of photovoltaic cells to identify strategies for teaching this standard.
Arconic Foundation is proud to support Solar 4R Schools and bring this innovative program to Arconic communities nationwide. Arconic Foundation’s mission is to support non-profit partners who advance STEM Education, Workforce Development and Environmental Sustainability in Arconic communities. We view support for K-12 STEM programs as critical to shaping the workforce of the future – the economic future of our communities and the advanced manufacturing industry depends on it. By investing early in impactful STEM curricula, we can spark the imagination of our youth and set them on a path that encourages creativity and innovation – the very skills that make Arconic and other advanced manufacturers successful. 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.