Alumna publishes project-based activities for STEM book for teachers

March 18, 2013

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PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — University of Wisconsin-Platteville 1993 alumna Kathy Kurowski, who has taught for 20 years and been awarded a Golden Apple Teacher of Distinction three times, recently published the book, “Year Round Project-Based Activities for STEM Pre-K-K,” in conjunction with Teacher Created Resources. Kurowski presented her book to UW-Platteville Pre-Kindergarten Methods classes and to the UW-Platteville School of Education Tuesday.

The book shows how to incorporate science, technology, engineering and mathematics using critical thinking, problem solving and literacy, giving eight different units broken down into five phases with specific guidelines and suggestions.

“The reason I focused the book on STEM was because there is a large emphasis on STEM, as it is starting to be implemented in schools across the country. This is a great way to incorporate each strand for the students to learn instead of teaching each component separately,” said Kurowski. Each one of the activities fits directly with the National Common Core Standards.

Kurowski currently teaches Kindergarten at the Cormier School and Early Learning Center in the Ashwaubenon, Wis., school district. She uses a method of teaching called “planned play” with her kindergarten students, which is intended to teach core subjects while using dramatic play centers within the classroom, instilling creativity within students.

“I feel that dramatic play is very important that classrooms practice it, because children need to have the chance to be creative, problem solve and socialize and have an outlet for their creativity,” said Kurowski.

Kurowski discussed examples of dramatic play scenes such as a flower shop, ice fishing and grocery store. With each scene she discussed how she incorporated the science within the aspects of the scene; engineering in creating props; technology in using calculators or other methods of technology; and mathematics in counting certain aspects of each scenario.

“Currently, science does not have a national common core. When I wrote the book, I wanted it to become user friendly for teachers and be able to use it as is or be able to adjust the units according to the atmosphere of the students,” said Kurowski.

For more information or to purchase this book, visit http://www.teachercreated.com/products/year-round-project-based-activities-for-stem-prek-k-3024.

Written by: Eileen McGuine, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, mcguinee@uwplatt.edu

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