The Pittsburgh Steelers are used to being champions on the field; but, the team recently shared the spotlight with 16 area educators as part of the team’s “Leaders in the Classroom” program, an initiative also sponsored by Inventionland and the Chevron Corporation.
The 16 Leaders in the Classroom were recognized at Heinz Field at the Steelers’ January 1st matchup against the Cleveland Browns. The on-field ceremony included Inventionland founder and CEO George Davison, who congratulated each recipient and presented them with a $1,000 credit for STEAM products offered in the Inventionland curriculum catalog.
Noting how the teachers’ engaging instruction and curriculum significantly impacts the region’s pre-K to 12th-grade students, Mr. Davison said that he hopes the credit will further those efforts.
“Inventionland has gotten teachers and our children excited about how they can make things and improve the future as they learn 21st century skills,” said Davison.
Three of the recognized teachers already are utilizing Inventionland’s interactive STEAM-based curriculum. Intermediate Unit 1 (IU1) Colonial Campus teacher Kevin McKee, John Marshall High School’s Sally Gaughenbaugh and IU1 Educational Campus at East Franklin’s Eric Selva currently apply Inventionland’s hands-on, project-based learning in their classrooms.
According to McKee, the interactive curriculum helps to keep his students engaged and wanting to learn more.
“With the type of learners we have today, I understand the importance of STEM in the school setting. Using our lab, I was able to relate many of the projects we were working on back to the objectives the students were learning in the classroom. This type of learning made it much easier for the students to understand the intended outcomes by actually creating something, rather than just reading about it or completing worksheets… The students were very engaged, learning with these types of hands-on activities,” said McKee. “When I started teaching the Inventionland curriculum, this really enhanced what I was already trying to do with the students. They had to come up with their own problem, research some possible solutions or inventions, make prototypes, work on packaging and design, and present their ideas. During this process, it was amazing to watch them learn and grow working in teams discussing their mistakes and how to make their inventions better and better… Receiving this award makes me want to continue to grow to be the best possible educator [and maximize] opportunities for my students to learn!”
“[The] Inventionland curriculum paralleled my thoughts on creativity in the classroom,” said Gaughenbaugh. “With the help of Inventionland merchandise and Chevron money for my classroom, I am able to bring 21st-century learning material into my art room. STEM is an important learning stepping stone for the future leaders of our world. Thinking critically, brainstorming and problem solving are key elements of educational growth. Teaching that combines science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the arts creates an innovative way of showing students how to deal with real problems. Teaching techniques awakens the students’ minds to possibilities that can lead to discovery of themselves, plus an educational path of success.”
Taking part in honoring the Leaders in the Classroom at the Pittsburgh Steelers game was an innovative way to kick off the New Year! Here’s to much more STEAM-based success in their classrooms in 2017!