Kendra is a Chicago State University graduate, with her initial career starting as a cosmetic and forensic chemist. Her love for learning led to her second career at Chicago Public Schools. Currently Kendra serves as a middle school science teacher leader and mentor in Chicago's Humboldt Park. Her passion is to mentor and encourage middle school girls to pursue STEM careers.
Ultimate STEM Lesson Summary:
Educators can all agree that students have varied similarities and differences. Upon recognizing this difference of diverse levels of expertise and experiences within the classroom, educators must offer a variety of choices for students to demonstrate their knowledge of a concept. Incorporating stop motion videos as a technology tool for learning is ideal with the advances in technology.
My Ultimate STEM lesson encompasses students having the option to use stop motion animation to demonstrate the scientific process or to explain a scientific model at the end of school year. This lesson was adapted from the National Film Board of Canada’s Stop Motion Animation Workshop. Each group of 3-4 students was challenged to teach their favorite concept of the year. Students were provided with an iPad, variety of toys, clay, magnetic letters, marker board, dry erase markers and their interactive science journal to use as a collaborative tool for content review. I then challenged them to include opening credits, a storyboard, a set, and ending credits.
The creation of a stop motion video was so intensely challenging for the students. This project was awesome because it was multi-tiered and allowed students to express their creativity artistically and through written expressions. As the students worked through creating the video, many of them were frustrated because they had to think outside the box. My new insights about this process is that my students needed more experience with applying scientific knowledge. As they search through the content that they learned many of the students had plenty notes but never found the information useful after chapter assessments. This was a great experience of real-world applications being used in story creation. It wasn’t a quick assessment. Instead it was more meaningful than any assessment I had ever given to students. It also gave the students a piece of work that they felt proud to share. Never have I had students pushing to complete an assignment. They were eager to create more stop motion videos. The ultimate goal of this experience was to increase student engagement using media to blend a science lesson into both an engineering and technology lesson.
National Film Board of Canada's Stop Motion Animation Workshop