Teaching Problem Solving and Engineering in Dallas

This week I had the incredible pleasure of presenting at the Region 10 Now4Forever: Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead! Conference in Dallas, Texas. The conference was held across three days in two sites and I presented on two days: one day at the northern site and one day at the southern site. Having never visited North Texas before, I got to see Frisco, Richardson, Dallas, and Waxahachie, Texas. We traveled to Dallas a day early and also enjoyed visiting the Fort Worth Zoo, the #5 rated zoo in the country. After finishing at the conference on Thursday, we rounded out our Dallas fun with a Double-A minor league game at Dr. Pepper Park in Frisco seeing the Frisco Roughriders take on the San Antonio Missions. It rained torrentially two days for about 30-45 minutes two days and we learned that was called a “gulley washer.”

We had incredible rain storms each day, but they were short.

We had incredible rain storms each day, but they were short.

I really enjoyed presenting at the conference and met some wonderful educators and administrators and was so well taken care of. They made everything easy and fun. I presented on the work of myself and my colleagues on using problem solving and critical thinking skills to teach STEM to children birth to five years old.

Photo courtesy of Nancy Alvarez

Photo courtesy of Nancy Alvarez

I know that Anne, Kristen, and MaryLu would have had fun working with these educators to expand thinking on how young children with and without disabilities can participate in engineering activities and improve their problem solving skills.

Photo courtesy of Daelynn Copeland

Photo courtesy of Daelynn Copeland

Based on the many engaging discussions with participants across the two days, we generated a list of resources that I wanted to share with the participants and other educators. Some of you may be familiar with these ideas, but if not, please use the links below to learn more.

Fun materials for the STEAM activity

Fun materials for the STEAM activity

I would like to thank Region 10 and especially Kelley Estes-Jones and Andrea Mitchell for inviting me to the conference and all the facilitators who helped me throughout the two days.

As always, please leave comments or email me for more information.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Early Childhood UDL Planning Sheet-Blank

Resources on Engineering and Robotics:

Writing with Symbols

Dycem Sticky Mats

Bristle Blocks

Time Timer

Wiki Stix

Intellikeys and Intellitools

If you want more information about the ideas problem solving skills and engineering design for children birth to five, please our book Engaging Young Engineers: Teaching Problem Solving Skills through STEM.



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