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SEPTEMBER 25

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All Hands On Deck: Kristen Hummer Discusses STEM in the Classroom

Teacher Kristen Hummer is pursuing her master of science in STEM education degree at Lebanon Valley College

With technology continuously advancing and the need for workers in the engineering, science, and technology field increasing, LVC designed the Master of Science in STEM Education (MSSE) to help future generations of teachers and students. 

Kristen Hummer, a second-grade teacher at Jonestown Elementary in the Northern Lebanon School District, understands the importance of incorporating STEM education into the classroom and eagerly applied to LVC’s MSSE Program after researching several programs. 

“I have always been passionate about integrating hands-on learning opportunities in my classroom,” said Hummer, who is finishing her final classes to complete her degree. “The MSSE program gave me additional insight on strategies and resources I could use to implement STEM principles in more content areas throughout my day.”

As a full-time teacher and mother, Hummer took advantage of the program's hybrid learning option that allowed her to attend in-person and online classes. 

“I love the accelerated 6-week courses,” said Hummer. “Before COVID, I valued the hybrid learning platform available for most of the courses. Having the option to take in-person, online, and hybrid allowed for me to choose what worked best for my schedule."

Back in her classroom, Hummer has started to implement STEM activities and create a more hands-on teaching style. Some of these activities include integrating computer science into her geometry lessons through Ozobots, which are small robots that can be programmed to follow patterns on the surfaces over which they roll. 

Additionally, Hummer started to take her students to the school’s Makerspace where she instructs them to construct items, such as insects, using materials like LEGOS, recycled paper towel rolls, KEVA planks, magnetic blocks, clay, popsicle sticks, and more. 

“I have included a STEM center in my classroom where students can complete design challenge task cards or channel their creativity with a variety of STEM materials and art supplies,” said Hummer. “This is a favorite part of my classroom for many students.”

As Hummer continues to learn and explore the world of STEM, she plans to incorporate STEM careers discussions and advocate for STEM in her school and district. 

 

-- Parker Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant