Friday May 16, 2014

Elementary STEM: Giving Students an Early Start

Greg Bianchi

K-5 STEM Instructional Technology Curriculum Developer Bellevue School District

Scribe: Neil Bretvick Editor: Jim Kindsvater

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In This Issue:

Larry May introduces the Rotary student of the month, and Greg Bianchi discusses the Bellevue School District’s K-5 STEM Initiative.

speaker program:

Nic Wildeman introduced the program speaker, Greg Bianchi, K-5 grade STEM Instructional Technology Curriculum Developer for the Bellevue School District.

STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  Greg mentioned the gap between “ready graduates” and available jobs in the US was the 2nd largest worldwide.  The STEM initiative is designed to address this gap by designing curriculum for 21st century skills needed in today’s and the future marketplace. Funding for the STEM Initiative is provided by Bellevue Schools Foundation.  It’s a five-year initiative, designed to reach all Bellevue elementary students by year three.

The focus of the Elementary STEM pilot program is to provide STEM-enriched curriculum at an early age (K-5).  Students are engaged in collaborative engineering projects with their classmates which will focus on the STEM core curriculum.  For example, they students may use materials to design and build a model bridge from supplied materials and test how strong it is.

Bellevue School District’s STEM program aligns elementary curriculum with state standards for science, technology, engineering and math, with the goal of developing critical thinking and collaborate problem-solving skills at an early age.  Currently the curriculum is being used in three Bellevue elementary schools: Ardmore, Medina and Newport Heights.  During the 2014-2015 year, it will be added to  Cherry Crest, Jing Mei, Phantom Lake, Sherwood Forest, Somerset, Spiritridge and Woodridge.

President Scott Sadler mentioned 1,000 pounds of fresh produce was donated by BBRC and Tanya Franzen-Garrett of Windermere Real Estate to Rotary First Harvest in Greg’s honor.

club business:

President Scott Sadler opened the meeting.

Jason Cherney gave the invocation and led in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Bob Vallett introduced guests and visiting Rotarians.  Roxanne Shepherd was the only visiting Rotarian; guests were Chris Aageson of CTA Architecture;, financial adviser Peter Noone; trial lawyer Ted Buck; Doug Kimbrough (Chuck’s son); Executive coach Peter Dove; Greg Bianchi, our featured speaker, and Rudolf Kischel.

Dick Brown gave a special recognition of Jim Owens on his birthday, and the members sang happy birthday to Jim.

Larry May introduced the Student of the Month, Matthew Carlson, and recognized his parents John and Lisa, Grandparents Judy Jenney and Pat Lantzy, and his brother Drew.  Matthew is a track athlete who competed at the state tournament.  He wishes to go to WSU and focus on Communications.  He mentioned his involvement in school, including a school spirit project he and others were involved with, and recognized his grandmother for her help with school work over the years.

Jenny Andrews gave a special recognition to all BBRC members who sponsored guests and brought in new members to the club.

Tim Leahy and Robin Callan mentioned the upcoming “Rotating the Wheel” celebration to be held June 20 at Tibbets Creek Manor in Issaquah.  This year’s theme is “Blazing Sadlers” and members are encouraged to show up in western attire.  Should be fun, pardners!

Our Sergeant at Arms, Paul Chapman presented a budget showing his shortfall in fine collections.  After factoring in such expenses as his commission, props, prizes (which are still at his home), a trip to the SAA World conference in Puerto Vallarta, car service, newspaper subscriptions, meals and entertainment, and hair and makeup, he determined he could make the budget if he fined each attending member $25.53 per week for the remaining 6 weeks of his term.  Hopefully, attendance won’t dwindle for those meetings!

Some announcements:

Chuck Kimbrough asked members to pick up any missed signs from the BBRC 10K if they happen to see them.

Ruben Ladlad talked about the Windermere House project for KITH (a duplex renovation for transitional housing for the homeless) and showed a certificate from KITH recognizing our club’s efforts.

president’s thought for the week:

“When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second.  When you sit on a red-hot cinder, a second seems like an hour.  That’s relativity.” – Albert Einstein

About the Speaker

Greg Bianchi in his present role, K-5 STEM Instructional Technology Curriculum Developer, manages the elementary science and engineering curriculum, including adoption of new materials for Bellevue School District. He also is responsible for STEM related professional development for elementary teachers, STEM related extracurricular learning for elementary students and coaching veteran teachers in the implementation of STEM curriculum.

Greg was previously a Curriculum and Instruction Coach for 1 year and a Science Teacher for 8 years, all with Bellevue School district. While teaching in Bellevue, he has received awards as Most Inspirational Teacher and PTSA Outstanding Educator. In addition, he was a International Baccalaureate teacher and a National Board certified teacher.

Greg has a BA In Business (cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Washington (1998), A MAT Secondary Science concentration from Seattle Pacific University (2004) and a Ed.D Curriculum & Instruction from Seattle Pacific University (2007).

He is a member of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and Phi Beta Kappa a past board member of the Puget Sound Association of Phi Beta Kappa.