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VolsTeach in the classroom

This spring, students in Dr. Yolanda Kirkpatrick’s Project Based Instruction course are using 3D design and printing as the platform to conduct project based learning.

The project emphasis is on the inquiry processes that the students follow and use, the skills they develop and enhance, the research and driving question they identify, and the collaboration and learning with their team members. Here are the topics of 3D design and printing developed by the spring 2018 Project Based Instruction class:

  • Inventing, Innovating a Community
  • Imagining, Examining Plate Movement
  • Problem Detectives of Boat Design

Students in Dr. Terri Hopkins’ Knowing and Learning class this spring had a guest instructor who showed a lesson about quilting.  Ms. Mindy Hopkins, a 7th grade math teacher at Cedar Bluff Middle School, Knoxville, showed the VolsTeach students how a lesson in quilting can get students thinking about area using a variety of problem solving strategies.  After a portion of the lesson was presented, students worked in groups reviewing the lesson plan itself to identify the application of different learning theories they had been studying in K&L. They saw a clear path from theory to practice!  Ms. Hopkins presented this lesson at the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association annual conference in September, 2017.

In a recent Perspectives class, students Tyler Mann and Zach Ward taught exothermic and endothermic reactions to their fellow classmates.   














In a recent Perspectives class, student Ashley Humphrey taught a Biology lesson about the events that occur during major biochemical cycles and how changes in the nitrogen cycle can affect an ecosystem.









Perspectives class, taught by Dr. Nita Ganguly, provides an exploration of the development of ideas in mathematics and science throughout history. Emphasis for this course is on critical thinking and writing skills, lesson planning, and exploration of mathematical and science concepts.  In a recent lesson on the age of the earth, students created a geologic time line of the earth, mapping the eras and major events of the earth.


During the fall semester, Classroom Interactions students of Dr. Elizabeth MacTavish are hands-on with various STEM activities that complement both content and pedagogy.  The Marshmallow Challenge activity helped students understand how analytical, practical, creative, and research-based thinking can be implemented in a single lesson.  Congrats to Benjamin, Daniel, and Rosie for building the tallest free-standing structure to support their marshmallow!


How tall is GA Karen Cheng?  In a recent Functions and Modeling class, the students used cups to model an equation that could be used to determine how many cups are needed to reach a certain height.  In this case, be at least as tall as the Graduate Assistant.