Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Teachers Programming Robots at SEE Innovation Lab

Jr. STEAM Ahead 9-23-14

Below is a picture of the September 9th professional development session at SEE Science Center Innovation Lab with teachers and FIRST coaches from Arizona.

Teachers were engaged and challenged in designing, building, and programming robots using LEGO blocks.  Team members also experienced problem solving and working collaboratively with 4th grade teams.  Teachers experienced how to coach project based learning in solving real world challenges and creating solutions.

All Manchester School District 4th grade elementary teachers that were interested in piloting Jr. STEAM Ahead, applied .  The three schools that were chosen are:  Beech Street, Jewett, and Green Acres.  Green Acres’ principal Rick Norton, Beech Street principal, Christine Brennan and teachers shared the Jr. STEAM  process as well as reflections of the professional development.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Congratulations to Principal Amy Allen and the Parker Varney staff!

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Congratulations to Principal Amy Allen and the Parker Varney team for creating and implementing a “School Innovation Plan” that communicated a deep commitment to use data using innovative practices.  The NH DOE’s Implementation Science Model of professional development was used by Principal Allen and the Parker
Varney leadership team at the Keene Summit this past July to create a "School Innovation Plan".  The NH DOE reviewed all “School Innovation Plans” that were submitted and Parker Varney’s "School Innovation Plan" was chosen by the NH DOE reviewers. Ms. Allen has been invited to co-present with the NH DOE at the
West Ed’s first annual Turnaround Conference in San Francisco because of her dedication and commitment to excellence in education.

The NH DOE  Implementation Science Model of professional development was piloted at the 2014 Summer Summit with educational leaders from around the state of NH.  The following Manchester School District educators were in attendance at the Keene Summit:  Bakersville, Beech Street, Gossler, Parker Varney, Wilson, Middle School at Parkside, and Southside Middle School.  

Once again, congratulations to Principal Allen and the Parker Varney leadership team for their outstanding School Innovation Plan.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Can Science Content be Taught in a Video Game?

In this article in Teaching Exceptional Children, Matthew Marino (University of Central

Florida) and four colleagues suggest ways teachers can use video games to teach science

content to secondary students with special needs. Here is their list of free, well-designed

science games:

- Agricultural Simulator (Earth Sciences) –

- Bridge Project (Engineering and technology) –

- Dust (Chemical and physical properties) –

- Garbage dreams (Earth sciences) –

Marshall Memo 549 August 25, 2014

- The Incredible Machine (Physics) –

- Orbiter (Space science) -

- Wolf Quest (Life sciences) –

“Enhancing Secondary Science Content Accessibility with Video Games” by Matthew

Marino, Kathleen Becht, Eleazar Vasquez III, Jennifer Gallup, James Basham, and Benjamin

Gallegos in Teaching Exceptional Children, September/October 2014 (Vol. 47, #1, p. 27-34),; Marino

can be reached at

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