UCF Hosts Free STEM Conference 2018

I just have to share this information for those that don’t know about this #FREE #STEM #Conference every year in Orlando. The Florida Engineering Education Conference (FEEC) is hosted each year in the spring by the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in East Orlando. UCF has hosted this STEM conference for Florida Educators since 2006. The conference used to be held at the end of April, but for the last couple of years that I know of, has been the first Friday in March. This year, the conference will be held on Friday, March 2, 2018 at the Student Union at UCF.

This will be my second year presenting at the conference, and one of my favorite STEM conferences to attend. It is always a pleasure to attend this conference. The sessions are always great, and I love meeting new people and learning new things at the conference. You can usually find STEM presentations from the Florida Association of Science Teachers (FAST), the Orlando Science Center (OSC), the US Army, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Education. Last year, I learned about using robotics in the elementary classroom, integrating STEM in elementary schools, planting a school garden, and other great STEM lesson ideas. The conference is done by 3:30 so you can get a jump start on your drive home, and your weekend.

If you have never been, the University of Central Florida is a beautiful campus with lots of lakes and wooded areas, a perfect escape from the common classroom! Lunch is included with the registration, with water, coffee, and tea set up in the main ballroom/conference hall throughout the conference. Should you get a hankering for a pick-me-up snack before or after lunch  (like maybe breakfast time) there are some restaurants on the main floor of the Student Union that you could visit, such as Starbucks and Smooth King, to name a few. And for those that enjoy dining outdoors, there is a lovely deck behind the Student Union with with umbrella covered tables and wooded walkways that lead off into a Cyprus forest.

I would recommend getting to the campus early as the parking garage fills up quickly between conference guests and students. You can find more information about the conference and registration at FEEC’s webpages on the UCF website: http://stem.ucf.edu/feec/. If you decide to go, look me up, I’ll be presenting about Engineering in Elementary Life Sciences!


Shopping for Curtains

It’s been a while since I last made an entry in here or worked on the site. I’ve given up on trying to create the site theme/skin from scratch and have started window shopping. I’ve gotten a collection of some of my favorite themes in my Pinterest board but having a some difficulties pulling the trigger on a site theme. Mainly, the cost! Just when I think I have the money, something else comes up. I’ve found one that I really love, that simply screams STEM education with graph paper and science and engineering doodles on the side. It even has a font that looks like it belongs on a blueprint. Yep! I really like the looks of this theme! It has Post-it notes you can add to the side for notes and a hand written cursive font that sort of looks like a scientist’s chicken scratch, only, more legible. My husband recommended that I try to copy it and create my own, just not enough time. It’s high-stakes testing time, so I’m a little pre-occupied with the stress of my students’ well-being to mess with Photoshop and Dreamweaver. While I’m thinking about it, should probably also think about mapping out the site, getting some organization to it – how it is all going to be laid out and all. Another day.

Site Construction

Pardon the dust, and watch your step, as I continue to set up this site. As you can see, I’ve been playing around with different skins for STEM sources, trying to get it to look the way I see it in my head. Been trying to come up with a funky site banner that screams steampunk with copper wire coils around the edges and rustic burnt wood background but with modern techno circuit board style. My husband thinks this is too dark, so I’ve tried to lighten it some with the linen looking page background. Not sure I like it, but it’s a start. I’ve been playing around with 3D effects in Photoshop. I really like the new addition and being able to apply materials to my meshes inside of Photoshop. This is my Christmas break, so many ideas and thoughts going around my head about how STEM sources should look. I have some time, so I’ll keep playing…

First Post

This is my first post on this site. I’m not ready to launch this site. I still need to create a theme and style it the way I want it visually. I’d like a funky, groovy, steampunk looking site, kind of a throw back to the Victorian mad scientist era without being too dark. You see, I’m a STEM teacher, and have been teaching for a few years now. Really, I teach elementary engineering, like the kind in a LEGO and K’Nex lab where students are taught the engineering design process, and they create things that help them test the laws of science. So, I’d like this site to be about what I teach, but also as a place to share information and ideas I’ve found with other STEM teachers. My binders are overflowing, and I’ve created a few Live Binders and Pinterest boards (just a few boards 🙂 ) that are also overflowing. This site, STEM sources, is a place for me to organize all of that gathered information. It’s just going to take some time. Tune in next time where I hope to have something more appealing to look at. Until then, thanks for reading.