STEM Center User Group Professional Development Training prepares teachers (K-12) to use the state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and resources available through the Oakley STEM Center.
This unique membership program offers teachers cutting-edge professional development workshops and access to FREE field trips. The EXPEDITION Field Trip experience is the class/school participation component of the User Group program in which the trained teacher/user group member leads their students through engaging hands-on activities and projects.
15 minutes: Welcome & Orientation
50 minutes: Activity 1
50 minutes: Activity 2
50 minutes: Activity 3
Though lunch is not provided as part of the program, we can schedule a lunch break and have refrigeration on-site in which to store sack lunches and beverages.
NOTE: Though STEM Center staff is available for support, it is the teachers’ responsibility to lead the hands-on components of the field trip (based on their training and experience through the STEM Center User Group program).
A: K-12 educators and school administrators.
A: By attending a "STEM Center User Group Training" session.
A: STEM Center User Group is offered three times per year, typically on a Saturday in the months of April, July and August at the Millard Oakley STEM Center on the campus of Tennessee Tech University.
A: Sessions take place from 8:30am-3:30pm.
A: The STEM Center will provide you with a letter verifying your attendance at User Group with details about the sessions. It is up to your school district to grant the in-service credit.
A: You receive training on a minimum of two hands-on, STEM-related, NASA approved/supported activities. This training prepares you to lead these activities when you bring your students to the STEM Center for an Expeditions Field Trip or to present these activities in your own classroom. Included in the activity package at the Oakley STEM Center are PowerPoint presentations, materials list and preparation, standards alignment, and suggestions for extensions and cross-curricular activities.
You experience a Virtual Theater presentation. Topics may include: To the Edge and Back: A Tour of the Universe, Seasons, Moon Phases, the Planets, and History of Astronomy. More Virtual Theater presentations are currently in development.
You gain admittance to the STEM Center's lending library and the ability to check out equipment to use in your classroom (STEM Lending Library only accessible to STEM User Group Members). Duration of loan is approximately 2 weeks; STEM Center administration reserves the right to approve items requested from the lending library.
A: Your membership remains active for one year from the date that you attended STEM Center User Group training.
A: Membership is renewed by attending additional sessions of STEM Center User Group Training and/or bringing your students to the STEM Center for an EXPEDITIONS Field Trip. If you choose to learn new activities (activities are updated bi-annually), you only need to attend the User Group session related to your grade band and/or a new activity that you want to learn (training time for each activity is typically 1.5 to 2 hours).
A: EXPEDITIONS Field Trips take place on select Fridays throughout the fall and spring semesters, as well as for two weeks in August and two weeks in May, annually. Specific dates are determined by lab room availability at the Oakley STEM Center. There is no fee; EXPEDITIONS Field Trips are FREE!!!!
A: You, the STEM Center User Group member, lead the sessions for which you have been trained. When you arrive at the STEM Center for an EXPEDITION field trip, the lab rooms will be prepared with a laptop containing the PowerPoint presentation suitable for the activity, completely prepared materials and equipment, and a student/staff assistant.
A: STEM Center User Group's fee is $60. You may sign up for the next User Group training through the STEM Center's website by clicking on the "User Group Registration Guide" tab at the top of this page; it leads you to the Online MarketPlace registration site.