Archive for September, 2017

MCPS Teachers Attend STEM Workshop

September 28, 2017

On Saturday, September 23rd, MCPS teachers attended a STEM workshop in Westmoreland County.  Teachers from MES, SCW, and MHS have been participating in summer and weekend workshops to gain knowledge and training in  techniques in using problem-based learning in a Makerspace setting.  The program, called STEMLabs and Design Briefs for Building STEM Knowledge, is funded through the University of Mary Washington by the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia through Title II Part 1 NCLB. Middlesex County teachers are participating along with teachers from Colonial Beach, Rappahanock County and Westmoreland County.

Faculty from the UMW Colleges of Education and Arts and Sciences and educators from the Friends of the Rappahannock have partnered with approximately one hundred teachers and administrators from Superintendent’s Region III to develop a program of intense, high quality educational experiences that utilize a problem-based learning context, the Design Brief, to deliver middle and high school mathematics and science concepts aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning.  As part of the program, MCPS received materials for their STEM labs and Makerspace areas that include 3D printers, Hummingbird Board Duo kits, and Vernier sensors to use with student projects.   

(See MCPS teachers in action in the video below!)

Below,  you can see a group of MCPS teachers working on a project they created to design a system to remove trash from our storm water system. They built and programmed a model of a storm drain and created a device to remove trash from the drain. The teachers used Hummingbird Boards and Visual Programmer Language to create this project. For more information about the program, you can visit


Hands On Learning at SCW

September 26, 2017

SCW has partnered with Friends of the Rappahannock to offer real world experiences in the area of science. On Monday, sixth grade students had their first field trip to learn more about and practice water quality testing in Urbanna.

Practicing the 5 C’s

September 15, 2017

These students may look like they’re doing a puzzle, but they’re actually engaged in critical skills building to prepare for work in tomorrow’s global economy. As Virginia moves to a more holistic accountability profile in public education that includes workforce development and skills, MCPS is embracing the challenge to incorporate creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, citizenship and communication into every instructional experience.

Here, the Teachers for Tomorrow students are solving a problem (the puzzle) without the ability to speak or touch each other’s puzzle pieces. This requires exercising a new set of communication skills – ones that are often overlooked in the classroom – and collaboration to solve a problem.

Look for more opportunities for students to practice these skills so essential to the workplace as we move through the school year!


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