Teachers Explore K'NEX Education's Science Sets at a
Regional Summer Science Academy
K'NEX Education's Consultant, Robert Jesberg, presented five K'NEX Education science workshops as part of the Summer Science Academy sponsored by the Berks
County Intermediate Unit and the Schuylkill County Intermediate Unit. The program was held in the Berks IU facilities in Reading, Pennsylvania on June 18th and 19th, 2007. Teachers from both counties attended the program and participated in the interactive, hands-on science and technology workshops that used K'NEX Education building sets as learning tools.
Teachers could select from five K'NEX Education workshops including: Introduction to Simple Machines (two programs); Forces, Energy and Motion; Amusement Park Experience; and DNA, Replication and Transcription. The K'NEX Education workshops were a favorite of the participants and several attended three or more of the presentations. Teachers built models, related them to real-world concepts, and completed inquiry-based experiments. With statewide science assessment tests on the horizon for the spring of 2008, teachers were eager to explore interactive classroom materials that were both rich in education and lots of fun for students.
The Introduction to Simple Machines workshops stressed the meaning of the commonly used phrase, "Simple Machines make work easier." Teachers built fully functioning K'NEX models of simple machines, such as bicycles, eggbeaters, and seesaws, and discussed the science concepts and problems that each model addressed.
The Forces, Energy and Motion workshop was geared for intermediate and middle school teachers. The corresponding K'NEX Education building set challenges students' creativity and problem solving as they design their own experiments, with help from The Teacher's Guide.
The Amusement Park Experience workshop was a favorite amongst teachers. Participants experimented with Ferris Wheels, Scrambler rides, Swing Rides, and ramp systems. The workshop highlighted energy, force and gear-related concepts. Teachers were eager to bring the excitement of the amusement park into their own classrooms.
The final workshop of the two-day program included the K'NEX Education DNA, Replication and Transcription Set. Teachers built DNA ladders, unzipped molecules, and repaired mutated DNA strands. Teachers marveled at the simplicity and flexibility of the models and their ability to easily demonstrate complex concepts.
Throughout the workshops, teachers were eager to share their experiences and excitement with one another and strongly believed that K'NEX Education lessons were superior to the programs they currently used in their classrooms. The staff at both the Berks County and Schuylkill County Intermediate Units looks forward to sponsoring the Second Annual Summer Science Academy in 2008.
If you would like to learn more about K'NEX Education workshops, please call K'NEX Education at 1-800-ABC-KNEX and visit www.knexeducation.com.