Laura Jones

I am a School-Based Technology Specialist and the founder and director of the GEMS clubs. I also teach three levels of robotics and computer programming.




McNair Elementary School

Recent Posts by Laura

Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:42 PM in Design Technology in Grades 3 - 5
There is a wonderfull set of resources on the VA Children's Engineering Site that are based on the design process. And most of the Design Squad activities lend themselves very easily to this structure. Here is a Pitsco link also

Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:54 PM in From STEM to STEAM?
Wonderful article in the Post yesterday about the annual NSF visualizations competitions--definitely an enticement for artistic scientists.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:43 PM in BrushBots, Robotics
We did this as a test site for the Klutz people--so much fun! And very easy to do.

Recent Reviews by Laura

Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:28 PM
5 Cemeteries as Science Labs
This is a fascinating article and an activity that sound very interesting to do with students. I never considered using a local cemetery as an observation station for weathering and geology study, but of course, why not? And the added lab has students exploring the effect of acid rain on minerals--very fun and creative. I look forward to trying this out.

Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:19 PM
5 Wow!--Dogs and Science
This article describes a lab for middle school students using bobble-head toys and exploring force and motion. I can't wait to try it! The author gives enough detail that it is replicable, but allows for individual class changes that will meet my informal science education needs.

Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:38 PM
5 Jumping Eggs!
Holy cow! This one is going to be in my next GEMS club's repertoire! I love the way that the fun activity of jumping eggs is combined with some serious math and science related to energy and forces. Anyone who runs after school programs should definitely include this.

Recent Public Collections by Laura

Engineering with Legos

7 Resources

For people like me who are learning to use Legos as a STEM starter.

Introducing engineering into the first grade classroom.pdf
Type: User uploaded resource

Type: User uploaded resource

Developing Spatial Skills

13 Resources

Research has shown that lack of experience with spatial skill development keeps girls and underserved minorities from succeeding in engineering. This collection has research on this topic and resources to develop these skills in younger children

Improving spatial skill development in young girls.docx
Type: User uploaded resource

Type: User uploaded resource

Encouraging girls in STEM

7 Resources

I put these together from my history with and interest in helping elementary girls stay interested in the STEM fields. I hope that others will find them useful.

Type: User uploaded resource

GEMS Club--helping girls to explore STEM
Type: User uploaded resource