ST 1.9

ST 1.9 - STEM teachers and leaders participate in a continuous program of STEM-specific professional learning.

Professional Learning at Bluffton Middle School 
Teachers and administrators regularly participate in professional development that is specific to STEM learning. Our Professional Development schedule is strategically created at the beginning of the year and adjusted as needed throughout. Teachers meet at 2 specific times - Tuesdays after the school day and Thursdays during the common planning time.  Below you will find the year-long professional development plans. 

PD Schedule
PD Schedule
Click here to view the PD Schedule as a PDF. 

Tuesday Meetings
Tuesday Meetings
Click here to view the Tuesday Meeting Schedule as a PDF. 

Workbench Training
BLMS recently partnered with Workbench Project Based Learning to help us develop STEM lessons throughout the content areas. The partnership includes a half-day of face-to-face training and a half-day of virtual training with representatives from the company.  During the face-to-face training, staff members were introduced to the Workbench website which houses a collection of projects for all grade levels and content areas. Projects can be edited and tailored to fit teachers’ specific needs, or can be created from scratch.  In addition, faculty members had the opportunity to test out three products that students use in many of the Workbench projects: Makey Makey, Parrot Drones, and Circuit Scribe. Teachers learned about these products through hands-on use and brainstormed ways they could be used in the classroom.



Future in Education Technology Conference
Teachers and Administrators annually attend The Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) to gain insight on emerging technologies, practices and resources that enhance STEM learning in throughout the school environment. FETC offers a variety of session structures designed to foster hands-on and collaborative learning. Participants discover diverse and relevant courses you won’t find anywhere else, with expert-led learning opportunities all focused on the most pressing challenges and technological implementations. 


Technology Coaching and Co-Teaching
Teachers at Bluffton Middle School frequently  utilize the expertise of the district technology coaches as a resource  to increase their understanding of technology trends which helps to ensure students are 21st Century ready. Beaufort County School District employs 8 Educational Technology Coaches to work with faculty, staff, and students in training, planning, modeling and co-teaching technology integrated lessons and activities that support their standards and curriculum. 

AdvancED STEM Summit - Kansas City, MO
A Bluffton Middle School teacher joined a district administrator for a two-day AdvancED learning opportunity at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri. During this conference, they participated and learned about STEM integration in all subject areas, strategies to increase student engagement, how the use of space can be utilized to foster the 4Cs, and heard from empowering keynote speakers that challenged our way of thinking and teaching. 

STEM Conference
Click here to view the full agenda and sessions. 

Gallery Walks
Every year, teachers participate in a gallery walk during one of our professional development days.  This provides an opportunity for teachers to learn from each other and hear about some of the best practices going on throughout the school.  Approximately ten teachers bring artifacts and information about an outstanding practice they are using in their classrooms, and the remaining staff breaks into small groups to hear short presentations from each teacher.  This year, topics included interactive notebooks, analyzing informational text, and “Grapple Problems,” among others. After visiting each station, staff members took note of STEM standards aligned to the activity presented and had a chance to discuss how they could incorporate the activity into their own classroom in some way.

Gallery Walk