Due to the continued impact of Covid, which led to restrictions on travel and being on MIT’s campus, the Science and Engineering Program for Teachers (SEPT) offered a remote conference, the past two summers.
We were thrilled to host the 33rd annual program on campus in late June as we did pre-pandemic, onsite and housed at MIT with the 46 teachers accepted in 2020. This group of teachers joined us virtually for a full program in 2020 and were invited back for a virtual reunion last summer. The reunion was filled with discussions of challenges from the past year and looking to the future, networking, games, and a session on design thinking.
This year’s program included sessions from MIT’s top lecturers (Keynote: Justin Reich and speakers, Eric Klopfer, Catherine Drennan, Hal Abelson, Dominic Farrello, David Des Marais, and Kerri Cahoy) and afternoon tracks titled, Use & Design of Games for Learning, Broadening Participation in STEM in the classroom and Epidemics, evolution, and economics: modeling complex systems with StarLogo Nova. The group also had a behind the scenes look at the Boston Museum of Science. The group toured the Arctic Adventure and the Engineering Design Workshop exhibits after hours and participated in an engineering design process session, where we engaged in a collaborative problem-solving challenge together with some basic materials.
It was great having this group of teachers together on campus for our in-person Professional Development. There are so many networking opportunities we missed out on being virtual and we hope to run smaller events throughout the school year to check in on how our teachers are implementing skills and resources learned at MIT in their classrooms.