From the Newsletter: WW Teaching Fellowship Announces New Classes, Runs STEM Camp

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Lynetria Sanders WW TF '17 prepares the students for the car race. (Photo courtesy Mercer University)

Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship had a busy summer.

In June, the 2017 class of WW Georgia Teaching Fellows were announced at an event with GA Governor Nathan Deal and his wife Sandra. This year’s Fellows will attend programs at Columbus State University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Mercer University, and Piedmont College. The 63 aspiring educators named for 2017 are part of 159 teachers who have been prepared through the WW Georgia Teaching Fellowship program to lead STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) classes in the state’s high-need secondary schools.

July marked the fourth class of WW New Jersey Teaching Fellows. Fellows began course work this summer at The College of New Jersey, Montclair State University, Rowan University, Rutgers University-Camden, and William Paterson University. The Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education recently found that New Jersey would need to fill 269,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018. The 2017–18 class of WW New Jersey Teaching Fellows brings to nearly 200 the number of STEM teachers prepared for high-need schools in New Jersey through the program.

WW Georgia Teaching Fellows at the Mercer University summer 2017 STEM camps.

Fellows also stayed busy this summer at STEM camps. Two WW TF partner universities, Mercer and Piedmont, hosted local students for various day camps.

WW Teaching Fellows helped run hands on STEM activities—from circuit building to model car races—at the Mercer camps. For Dezmon Gay WW GA TF ‘17, working with students during camp gave him the opportunity to show real world applications for science and math: “If students can relate to it they will more than likely understand it a lot better.”

Shakevia Robinson WW GA TF ’17 got experience helping students work through the activities and concepts. “My favorite moment during the STEM camps was when students overcame their frustrations,” she says. “I was able to motivate them to keep trying the various activities and help them understand. It means so much to me when a student would smile because they got it after being frustrated.”

Beyond leading activities and teaching students during camp, the Mercer Fellows also got some hands-on learning themselves. Mr. Gay learned the importance of organization and pre-planning when putting together activities and lessons. Ms. Robinson got practice at thinking quickly on her feet. Lynetria Sanders WW GA TF ’17 worked on different ways of presenting content. “The information has to be differentiated so that all children have a chance at understanding what they are doing,” says Ms. Sanders. “Now while I teach, I can continuously be aware of students needs as it concerns how they learn.”

By gathering students from different schools for a summer experience, Ms. Sanders hopes the STEM camps will “plant a seed of interest in those children that came.”

“As a result, they can take what they learned back to their classrooms as well as their peers,” she says.
“They can be the foundation for extended learning in another school, simply from this experience.”


This story appeared in the fall/winter 2017 issue of Fellowship, the newsletter of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. To see the full newsletter, click here.


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