📣 Spotlight on Piper Creator: Berni Lally
Welcome to our second installment of the Creator Spotlight features Berni Lally a dedicated teacher from New York. From weather station to rocket projects, Berni brings project based learning to a whole new level! Let's get to know what inspires this teacher a little more...
“IT IS THROUGH MANY FAILURES THAT WE LEARN SUCCESS… OR THE TRUE MEANING OF SUCCESS.”
Where do you teach? Lawrence Woodmere Academy
What do you teach (class, grades, etc.) PreK - 12, STEM Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
How long have you been in the teaching field? 15yrs
How long have you been teaching STEM? STEM 5years, Computer Science and Information Tech 10 years.
What do you see as the most beneficial evolution of STEM in schools? The move from lecture based to problem solving and project based learning.
Can you share one of your favorite STEM teaching moments? Looking at the faces of awe and amazement on the students of all ages when a robot moves or a program works and the robot carries out the commands.
Do you have a suggestion on how to teach STEM in a diversified classroom (interest levels, tech experience, learning styles, etc) Projects with an end goal in mind where the various talents are tapped into and each student is learning but in their own way. Allowing students to use their talents helps build confidence and reassures them that they are capable of achieving.
An example of a diversified project would be something like the Lego League tournament project where you have programmers, builders, researchers, presenters with each student as a member of a team to create something great to present and complete the missions with one goal and objective in mind but carried out in diverse ways.
What are some tips you can share with teachers who are beginning to teach STEM?
1️⃣ Important to think outside the box and always attempt something new. Research the latest tech that can be used in the classroom to enhance the learning experience and ultimately prepare students for the ever changing world of tech.
2️⃣ Less is more. Learning how to build a car from lollipop sticks is a great starter in thinking about building moving objects with simple foundations in engineering concepts and the sciences.
3️⃣ Networking and collaboration. Important to join or create a network of STEM teachers to share resource information and tips. CSTA and NSTA are very good networks to join as a member and take advantage of all the benefits and conference opportunities.
4️⃣ Competitions. Allow students to have the experience of prepping for a competition and the excitement of participating in a tournament environment. When they bring back this experience it ignites enthusiasm and creativity for the subject.
Do you have any favorite blogs / websites / magazines / STEM Educational leaders that you follow to learn more about teaching STEM, EdTech, Physical Computing, Coding etc.? I am a member of many different STEM and coding groups. The one that I interact with the most is the Raspberry Pi community and the CSTA (computer science teachers association), Hello World magazine, Various social media teachers and personalities
Right now, what is your favorite Piper project and why? Pico Rover is my latest favorite as I have lots of projects that I enjoy. The Pico Rover is easily accessible to students, easy to understand and straightforward in setting it up and running it.
Do you have a favorite quote about teaching / life that you share with students? Never Give up. Try and try again. It is through many failures that we learn success….or the true meaning of success.
Last question, who is your favorite superhero? Wonder Woman
Team Piper gives Berni a huge shout out for taking the time to answer our questions - we LOVE hearing from our educators! We look forward to the next spotlight on one of our many talented Piper Creators.
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