Elementary and middle school teachers built support structures using toothpicks and marshmallows Monday during a science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshop at Stanton Elementary School in Fox Lake.
Kristin Brynteson of Northern Illinois University's STEM program worked with 10 teachers from Stanton and Gavin South Middle School to train them on STEM projects and concepts using hands-on activities they can pass on to their students.
"It is a yearlong project that we started back in the summer, collaborating with the two schools to try and offer our students science, technology, engineering and math programs that are new to both buildings," Stanton Principal Jeff Sefcik said. "It's great that we are able to work together."
The next project for the teachers was a small set of robots Brynteson gave to the teachers to figure out how they worked and how to program them.
"We are looking at how we can get kids excited about coding and programming. But we are also looking bigger in terms of developing STEM programming for kids and piloting different activities for the classroom," said Brynteson, who is director of Professional Development at the Center for P-20 Engagement at NIU.