Saturday, January 21st, 2017 STEM West partnered with Catawba County, Hickory Public, and Newton Conover City Schools to host the first STEM focused EdCamp in North Carolina at Grandview Middle School in Hickory. Participants started arriving at 7:00 am for the event. As they arrived for the 8:00 event, they received Early Bird door prizes donated by Chick-fil-A and Google. All participants visited the Freebies tables and breakfast tables to select other items donated by various local businesses and educational organizations. Over 20 organizations donated $1500+ in door prizes, breakfast items, and “swag.”
Coming from 21 school districts, over 130 educators, administrators, support personnel, and community partners participated in the “unconference.” This format puts the responsibility of sessions in the hands of the attendees- THEY are the experts. The focus is on collaboration and networking. All participants provided input on charts to create the sessions that would be held. After a quick engineering challenge, participants selected the sessions to attend that best met their needs and interests ranging from Project-based Learning (PBL) to Teaching with Virtual Reality and Robotics in the Classroom.
As the evaluations are reviewed, it is encouraging that the event will become an annual event. For more information, visit the edcampstemwest website.