Educator Spotlight – Sabrina Ziegler
3 October, 2022
“A statistic that continues to motivate my STEAM driven pedagogy is that an estimated 65% of tomorrow’s workers will have jobs that don’t exist yet. STEAM education and Computer Science initiatives provide our students with learning experiences that will develop crucial skills applicable to their present and future lives. My goal as an educator has been to provide these authentic learning experiences to students in Title 1 schools who otherwise may not have the opportunity to explore these technologies, spark their innate curiosities, and develop their talents. What I know about learning is that it encapsulates curiosity, making connections, and making mistakes. In my short time at Braddock Elementary this year I have tried to immediately build upon our young learners’ curiosities and talents by helping students establish those connections and get comfortable making mistakes. We have been able to work through the Engineering Design Process to complete challenges such as “How can you, as an engineer, build the tallest cup tower possible?” or “How can you, as an engineer, build the longest bridge possible using only one piece of paper?”
We have also introduced algorithms and coding concepts to classes through lessons with Ozobot, using driving questions such as, “How can you code a path for Ozobot to follow that orders numbers from least to greatest?” These types of lessons have been accessible to all our students K-5 with multiple entry points and opportunities for differentiation.
At my previous school I was able to introduce my classes to deeper levels of computer science and STEAM. Some of our favorite challenges were using the Hummingbird Robotics Kits to turn our classroom door into a working piano in honor of Stevie Wonder! Students also used the Hummingbird Kits to create a living zoo that highlighted their animal adaptations by creating a code that controls sensors, motors, and LEDs!
I am extremely excited to bring my Computer Science and STEAM pedagogy to Braddock Elementary and continue building our program that provides more advocacy and access for our students into the integrated technological world.