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ELIPSE 3.0 welcome state STEM coordinator

Area K-12 teachers attend the ELIPSE conference at UNG to bolster their content knowledge and strengthen teaching skills in STEM subjects.

On Jan. 21, the University of North Georgia (UNG) will host ELIPSE 3.0, the third annual event aimed at providing professional development resources for physical science educators across north Georgia. This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Gilda Lyon, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) coordinator for the Georgia Department of Education.

Held on UNG's Gainesville Campus, ELIPSE (Experiential Learning and Inquiry for Physical Science Educators) 3.0 will offer expanded programming to teachers of kindergarten through 12th grade. Much of the event's programming focuses on fun and unique ways to engage students of all ages in science content. Some of the new programming this year includes:

  • Satellite Imagery, Google Earth Engine, and Earth Science
  • Augmented Reality and the Virtual Sandbox
  • Introduction to the Engineering Design Cycle
  • Using Latino Students' Passion for Soccer in Science
  • Using Tiny Apps to Offer Your Own Interactive Lessons
  • Quality Science Instruction on a Budget
  • Using Real Time Data on Personal Devices to Teach Earth and Environmental Science
  • Three-dimensional Approach to Teaching Science
  • An Introduction to Modeling Strategies in Chemistry

"Shaping our region's STEM talent is critical, and we want our teachers to see UNG as a center for professional development," said Dr. JB Sharma, assistant head for UNG's Department of Physics. "This is the central idea behind ELIPSE, to create teachers who support STEM throughout the entire pre-school through college pipeline. There needs to be greater communication between subject matter specialists and people who specialize in teaching and learning, and this collaborative endeavor is one means of making that happen."

According to a 2013 report from STEMconnector, nearly six out of 10 U.S. students who begin high school interested in STEM fields change their minds by graduation.

"Part of our mission with ELIPSE is to provide opportunities for teachers to expand their content knowledge and enrich their instruction," said Dr. April Nelms, head of UNG's Department of Teacher Education. "It's our goal to provide local, content-rich opportunities for our community partners to participate in so we can collaboratively have a positive and lasting impact on the quality of STEM education in our service area."

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