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Boot Camp Update – Dedicated Teachers in Pittsburgh Area

We just wrapped up the final leg of our teacher boot camp tour with workshops in Pittsburgh and New York. While everyone on the team is exhausted, the one thing that keeps the energy high is meeting other teachers who are truly making a difference. I met teachers in both cities who paid to come to boot camp on their own – no funding from their schools or the district. I asked the same question you’re probably asking, “Why did you do it?” One self-funded teacher in the Pittsburgh workshop described answered with this…

I’m a professional who believes that training is important. I think that teachers who isolate themselves to their classroom never grow. I really enjoy teaching science and I came to the workshop to find new ways to get my kids fired up. Once my Principal sees the results, she’ll support more and more. I know it.

It’s tough to believe that we work in a profession where our leaders don’t believe in or support professional staff development, but I can’t help but be inspired by her dedication to teaching and to her students.

I also met these two amazing teachers… Penny Hampshire and Kim Carpenter, teachers at Clawson B.E.S.T. Pre-K. I’ve learned over the years to pay particular attention to the teachers who sit in the front row at my workshops. They either don’t know any better (and they’re going to get soaked in flying soda) or they’re extremely enthusiastic. Penny and Kim were both! Here are two teachers that do more solid science with their Pre-K children than some kids get during their entire elementary school experience. I could go on and on, but just check out the Claswson website – Science Thursdays and enjoy watching master teachers at work.

As always, I invite teachers who attend my workshops to share their comments and take-aways on the blog. Any thoughts from Pittsburgh?

7 replies
  1. Dianne Thorington
    Dianne Thorington says:

    Dear Steve,
    I too am a teacher who attended your Pittsburgh Boot Camp. I too paid for my tuition and a plane ticket to fly from Baltimore to Pittsburgh and back. I did this because I think it is very important to bring scientific principals alive to my elementary students. Your Boot Camp gave me tools to explain many of these with excitement, interest and enthusiasm. Thank you so much. It was worth every penny.
    Dianne Thorington

  2. Wendy Stephens
    Wendy Stephens says:

    Dear Steve,
    I attended your Pittsburgh Boot Camp. I absolutely LOVED it. I teach students with special needs. They couldn’t wait for me to get back to school and share the experiments with them. I have 30 students with special needs. Their favorite experiment was the “egg drop soup.” Every one of my students could do it!! We re-arrange the room for our science experiments. We have “demonstration tables” and the students move their chairs out of the way. Your experiments have turned my students into “super scientists.”
    Thank you again,
    Wendy Stephens

  3. Bonnie Dwire
    Bonnie Dwire says:

    Dear Steve
    I work in a library and we are using the science experiments to tie in with books. For our Harry Potter program we used “Magic of Nature” and showed many of your science things. The kids love it. We are doing a whole day of science with kids at the library this summer and then in fall a we will be presenting at West Virginia Library Association something about incorporating science and books with kids. I absolutely love your stuff and what incredible ideas. I am really excited about showing the stuff that we learned in Pittsburgh. The kids faces when we show them things make it all worth while. Thank you for you time and effort and making all this available for us
    to share with our kids.
    Many Thanks
    Bonnie Dwire

  4. Jody DeMarco
    Jody DeMarco says:

    Steve, I really enjoyed learning about the polymers. I did the cup on the head trick at our preschool graduation on a parent. Not only did the kids get a kick out of it but the parents were amazed. The insta snow has been a hit!
    Thank you

  5. Tabatha
    Tabatha says:

    I atended the Pittsburg workshop it was super. I learned alot and we shared our findings with our other sights and made them an activity box. I also shared the fun with my sons and their teachers. It definetly oohed and awed me

  6. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    I loved the workshop. I have used so many ideas with my preschoolers! It has pulled students into science and they always ask, “When are we doing our next experiment?”!


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