Welcome to Mrs. Roberts’ STEM Science Class!
Welcome to Mrs. Roberts’ STEM Science Class at Ballard Elementary! I’m Mrs. Roberts and am so excited to be here this year teaching STEM Science. This is my first year teaching at Ballard Elementary, although I did my intern teaching here in 5th Grade many, many years ago. It’s good to see some familiar faces among the teaching staff, some of whom I worked with when I interned teaching 5th grade Math and Science. I am so happy to be here teaching Science to everyone. Science is my absolute favorite subject. I also love being able to teach science in a hands-on project-based type of class like we will have this year. I know that last year the students enjoyed the Engineering Classes that Mrs. Huston taught, and may be wondering why Science, or why you cannot just simply play with the LEGOs like you did last year. This year, the admin has asked me to go back to focusing on the science standards, however, I also love teaching engineering, so I will try to integrate some STEM challenges into the lessons as they pertain to the particular science-based unit we are working on.
Just to give everyone a little background about who I am and where I am from, I have a strong background in STEM, that is science, technology, engineering, and math. I previously taught at a small elementary charter school in Manatee County where I have been for the last three years. Last year, I served as the school’s technology specialist, testing coordinator, and gifted teacher, as well as teaching STEAM (that’s STEM with an emphasis in Art) as a special area class to Kindergarten through 5th grade students. For part of the year, I also subbed teaching math and science to 5th grade students. Before then, I taught math and science to 4th and 5th grade students, while having a 4th grade home room class and working closely with the 5th grade home room teacher. I also taught all subjects to my 4th grade class my first year there. Before going to the charter school I taught technology classes at Braden River Elementary School where I started their Elementary Engineering program, and served as the school’s technology coordinator for three years. I’ve also worked at Mills Elementary and Palmetto Elementary among my 17 years in Manatee County.
This is the first year in a long while where I didn’t have the added responsibilities of technology coordinator, so I will be able to focus more on what I really love, just teaching hands-on science. (This is also one of the first times I have not had computers in my room. I hope this changes over the course of the year!) Besides teaching science at Ballard, I will also be advising the 5th grade Technology Student Association (TSA). This is an organization that I am very passionate about and have been affiliated with for many years. We are very blessed to have TSA at the elementary level in Manatee County. This is normally a technical organization for middle school and high school students around the nation, but here we have it open to 5th graders. TSA is a technical organization for students to learn more about engineering design and technology, where they can compete against other students their age in competitions in science, technology, engineering, math, and business, while having fun. Middle school and high school students can compete at the district, state, national, and international levels, while elementary students in Manatee County compete against students from other school in Manatee County. We have competitions in catapults, fruits and veggies design, and model water towers. We also have other opportunities to join other local competitions in engineering design such as toothpick and balsa wood bridge building competitions at some of the different engineering expos.
When I am not teaching or leading students in TSA activities, I am married to my favorite geek who is very supportive of me being a STEM teacher by helping with me technology and robotics. I am also the mother of three (nearly grown) children. I have two children who just moved to Orlando this fall, a daughter who is attending the University of Central Florida (which makes me a UCF Knights mom; Go Knights!) and my oldest son who will be attending Valencia Community College (transferring from SCF here in town) and then plans on transferring to UCF in the Spring. My youngest son attends Southeast High School (Go ‘Noles!) where he is active in the marching band and other music classes.
I am looking forward to teaching STEM Science at Ballard Elementary School and joining the Ballard family! (I already feel very much at home at Ballard as this is where my father attended school many, many years ago.) I hope to be sharing many posts this year about the wonderful, exciting things our students are learning and creating in my class. Please bookmark this page and check back often for more posts. I will also be creating a Twitter account to share updates from class.