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Community Involvement, General - Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Covestro's Ben Renwick

If you walked down the Hall of Arts and Letters at Grove City College on a Friday afternoon last September, you probably heard pre-service teachers say, “Cool!”, “This is awesome!” or “Wow, that is so neat!” as they experienced science experiments firsthand and learned how to integrate STEM initiatives into their classrooms.

On September 22, Grove City alumnus Ben Renwick, a STEM coordinator at Covestro, hosted a two-hour presentation about STEM in K-12 education. Renwick and I were introduced through ASSET STEM Education’s Project-based Learning Through Teacher Externships program.

Six pre-service teachers attended the session, where Renwick shared information about Covestro’s i3 STEM initiative, which aims to spark curiosity in young minds. Then he walked the students through and led live classroom demonstrations. The students had a blast getting their hands on different science experiences. They were able to make polymer putty and slime, experience balloon skewers and work with dry ice simulations. Renwick also shared resources and lesson plans with the students to get them thinking about how to integrate STEM into the curriculum for any age and any grade level.

Teachers experimented with putty, dry ice and more

“With the increasing amount of job opportunities in the STEM fields over the next five to 10 years, school students need to be prepared and equipped for these types of jobs,” says Renwick. “There is often a gap between schools and industry, which is where Covestro, a world leading manufacturer of high-tech polymer materials, helps build relationships with schools and their teachers to ensure the next generation of innovators are career-ready.”

This was a great experience for the pre-service teachers as they left with ideas, resources and tools to help them integrate STEM into their fieldwork, student teaching and beyond.

We are thankful to ASSET STEM Education and Covestro for partnering together to offer this amazing opportunity to influence the lives of future professional educators—and the students they’ll teach one day.

“Whether these pre-service teachers will be teaching high school physics or elementary mathematics, it is important to integrate real-world problems into their teaching, specifically those geared towards STEM-related careers,” Renwick adds. “Covestro’s i3 STEM program works closely with school teachers to identify where our professionals can better equip a school’s science curriculum. Being able to relay this message with Grove City’s students inspires me, knowing that more and more teachers, regardless of their teaching discipline, are recognizing that STEM will play a critical role in developing school student success.”

Covestro's Ben Renwick

Thanks to a generous $20,000 grant from PPG Industries Foundation, ASSET is currently recruiting for its next cohort of teachers and STEM professionals. To find out more about program requirements and learn if you qualify, visit our PBL with Teacher Externships page.

Interested participants should register with
Dianne Hanrahan at 412-481-7320 x265 by Wednesday, August 15, 2018 for a PBL learning session on one of the following dates:

Tuesday, August 21
Wednesday, August 22
Tuesday, October 23