Walking in a Spartan Wonder-Land!


The MSU campus was recently all abuzz as the 25 fellows rolled into Spartan Territory!  As Punya Mishra tweeted, it was a “wonder-ful” gathering (a day full of wonder!)

The fellows arrived Friday evening. They began their instructional day early Saturday morning at Erickson Hall.  The team celebrated their book, Roots of STEM.  The book is composed of lesson plans and is written by the 25 participating fellows.  All of the lesson plans are centered around STEM based learning.  In recognition, they received a letter from Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools.  She praised them on their “creativity, passion, and commitment.” The authors also got a little more praise as Donald Heller, the Dean of Michigan State College of Education walked into the meeting requesting a signed copy for himself!

The cohort then transitioned into focus groups and revisited their Dream IT projects. The Dream IT proposal is a year long plan designed for transformative learning.  These 21st century plans will scaffold into their pedagogy throughout the fellowship. They discussed the changes, new findings,  and A-ha! moments from their experience so far.

Book reviews and author interviews were a hot topic of discussion among the crowd.  The fellows not only read a STEM-related book and reviewed it, but conducted a personal interview with the author! The fellows created an infographic to share information about their recent book reviews and shared it on Twitter.

The day would not be complete without a lively QUICKFIRE!  Quickfires promote movement, collaboration, creation, and wonder!  It’s a quick challenge with a time limit!

Goal: Create a catapult by re-purposing everyday items such as a paper cup, rubber band, wooden stick, paper clip, tape, and a few other contributing elements.

Time: 15 minutes

Each team energetically created a machine that would launch a projectile. The teams measured both distance and accuracy.  The winner received a Golden Spatula!

At 4:00, these leaders in education were still engaged in exploring, creating, and sharing.  It began to wrap up with a pep talk on leadership.  Punya Mishra led the professional conversation as he popularized the need for transformational leadership. Groups discussed the dilemmas of leadership and watched an inspirational video with Drew Dudley.  He spoke of everyday leadership and lollipops moments!

On Sunday, the fellows experienced a true Spartan adventure as they toured the campus.  They stopped by Breslin Arena, Broad Art Museum, M.A.C. Tower, and the Spartan Stadium. (complete with a few Spartan selfies!)

It was apparent that all 25 fellows, fully supported by the instructional team, were completely dedicated to taking risks and learning new things. The level of excitement and eagerness to explore new technological tools was highly impressive and quite contagious.  Imagine a room filled with wonder and connected learning!  Check out the pictures below of this “wonder-ful” day on MSU campus.