Susanne Hokkanen

I am STEAM teacher for a public middle school, where I enjoy bringing hands-on applied learning to my students through problem-solving, project based activities. I am highly motivated and very dedicated to finding ways to implement minds-on hands-on science/STEM instruction that encourages student interest in science and engineering and helps students retain content information and develop new skills. I completed a Masters program in science education through Montana State University in 2011. My thesis was an action research project to evaluate the impact of teaching all lessons/unit plans using the 5E learning cycle on student interest and academic achievement. I continue to use the 5E Learning Cycle in all lesson planning and presentations. I also completed a Masters program in teacher leadership through Concordia University in 2015, so I can also assist other teachers and teachers in training for the betterment of student learning and discovery.




Heritage Middle School

Recent Posts by Susanne

Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:23 PM in Project Based Learning
I am the new STEM coordinator for my school district. It is my vision to begin to incorporate PBL modules as the STEM component to the current science curriculum. Our goal is to have one unit/project for each semester. The ideal project will align and/or compliment the current curriculum map in science, and enhance the learning potential of the students.

Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:53 PM in FREE Force and Motion Kit
Thank you for posting this information. I look forward to receiving my kit, and using the supplies to help engage students in engineering and physics.

Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:32 PM in STEM AND Super Heros
What a great idea!! I am planning a STEM Career Day for early May. I have not decided on a theme yet, but I really like the idea of using Superheroes or something similar. The career day will focus on 4th - 8th grade students. Any other suggestions?

Recent Reviews by Susanne

Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:47 PM
5 Critical Thinking Using Systems and SFB
While the concepts in this article are complex, I like the overall higher order student thinking suggested by this article. The authors ask us to challenge our students to think in a systems frame of mind by considering "what, how and why?" questions to address structure, function and behavior when looking at systems within science. The article used an aquarium as an example of a system - something easy to bring into and maintain within the classroom. I might suggest that this form of analysis could also be used with the human body, while examining an electrical circuit, and even when looking at a rollercoaster. Again, the concepts introduced in this article are somewhat complex, and it may take a couple of reads to really understand the authors' purpose, but I believe this technique offers potential for getting our students thinking critically and analytically. I do recommend this article and the suggestions offered within it to help in the development of student thinking skills.

Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:56 PM
5 A Systems Approach Combined with the 5Es
This is a great article and a "highly recommended" read to all teachers. The systems approach to teaching science is a great fit for the new NGSS standards, and for great overall science teaching. I especially like that the included activity, which illustrates how to teach science from a systems approach, is written into the 5E format. The lesson is engaging, relevant and presents science from a system perspective. I highly recommend this article, and I will use the activity as described in this article to introduce my environmental science unit. Great article, great lesson idea, and an amazing concept.

Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:51 PM
5 Great Inquiry Activity to Incorporate Engineering
In light of the the NGSS, I have begun to revisit many of the articles and lesson plans I have used or planned to use in the past. The lesson plan in this article incorporates that the use of the engineering design process, along with scientific inquiry as students design working tops within a competitive setting. The only drawback to this lesson would be the supplies required to put it into action. I teach 5 sections of science with over 120 students total. This activity/lab could get quite costly, if I had to purchase the supplies on my own. I would recommend resourcing for supplies at dollar stores and even through recycling centers. I am considering trying this as class project near the end of school year when maybe we can take the tops outside to test them. If you have access to supplies, I would highly recommend this the suggestions in this article.

Recent Public Collections by Susanne

Methods and Strategies: Science Success for Students With Special Needs
Type: Journal Article

Tech Trek: Technologies for special needs students
Type: Journal Article

Chemistry HS

12 Resources

Problem Solving in the Chemistry Laboratory
Type: Journal Article

Chemistry by the Case
Type: Journal Article

Experiences, Patterns, and Explanations
Type: Journal Article

The Early Years: Recording Data With Young Children
Type: Journal Article