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Home > About Us > Get to know fellow STEM-thusiasts Carly and Adam!

Get to know fellow STEM-thusiasts Carly and Adam!

Published March 5, 2021

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By Ruthie Muller, Senior Outbound Marketing Manager and Systems Portfolio Manager

We love connecting with educators and friends who are as passionate about STEM as us! Meet Carly and Adam Speicher.

Coincidentally, Carly and Adam love collaborating with like-minded STEM enthusiasts. We just love them and their energy and want you to connect with them too, so we set up a little Q&A session. Here’s a little more about our new friends!

Q: Tell me a little bit about your story – your STEM background and how you got started.
We both graduated from Purdue University, home of Gus Grissom and Neil Armstrong. At Purdue, even if you don’t get an engineering degree, you develop a maker mindset simply by being surrounded by the culture of engineering on campus. I (Carly) have a background in elementary education and Adam majored in business. Adam first became interested in STEM in junior high and high school when he participated in FIRST® Robotics. I developed a love of STEM learning in 2015 when the elementary school where I taught third grade started a STEM initiative. Seeing how engaged and motivated some of my most reluctant learners were was enough to get me on board, and even though the school-wide initiative eventually fizzled out, I still tried to find ways to continue to incorporate STEM and hands-on learning with my students.

Q: What is your philosophy on STEM education in early learning and elementary?
Like Pitsco, we value hands-on, minds-on learning! We believe that students learn best when they are actively involved in the learning process and when the content includes real-world application. We enjoy weaving STEM into all areas of education, from science and history to the arts and beyond with our biggest passion being literacy integration. The more connected the learning is, the more meaningful it will be for students.

Q: What has the impact been on teachers with your professional development opportunities?
In January 2019, we created the Elementary STEM Teachers Club Facebook group to build a community around STEM. It is a safe place for teachers to share ideas and ask questions around various STEM topics. After starting the group, we quickly realized that there was a huge need for teacher training around STEM. It is such a broad area that it is impossible to be an expert in everything STEM related. There were so many questions being asked, and we didn’t have all the answers. The STEM Teacher Summit was our solution to this problem. We reached out to some STEM experts on social media who partnered with us to help provide answers for the teachers in our community. . . . The goal of our summits is to provide practical ideas and resources without overwhelming teachers. We focus on having a well-paced conference at an affordable price that inspires, instructs, and connects with teachers. The feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive. We have loved hearing stories about teachers that have connected at the conference and are continuing to collaborate on an ongoing basis. Another teacher was inspired to add a STEM library to her school’s makerspace after attending the summit. She was able to get a grant to purchase many of the STEM titles that were mentioned during the summit. When teachers come together and collaborate, anything is possible. We truly believe that we teach STEM better together!

Q: We love offering free resources to our friends. Do you have any links to resources that we can share?
We recently started a free resource library to help support teachers with STEM. The resource library includes STEM challenges, e-books, STEM menus, and rubrics. There are resources for teaching STEM virtually as well as in person. Teachers can get access to the free resource library by going to FreeSTEMchallenges.com.

Q: What encouragement or advice do you have for teachers during this time of educational change?
How our teachers make us feel is what we remember most, especially in tough times. Stay positive. There is nothing easy about what we are all going through. Your attitude will impact your students more than anything else during this season. If you need any help, our community is here to support you as well. You are welcome to join the collaboration happening in the Elementary STEM Teachers Club Facebook group. You can also reach out to us at info@carlyandadamblog.com.

Q: What do you love about Bee-Bot?
We love recommending Bee-Bot to any early-childhood or lower elementary teachers looking to get started with coding in the classroom. We love the simplicity and effectiveness of the Bee-Bot. Our four-year-old can use it and learn how to program using directional coding. It’s the same type of coding I (Adam) did in junior high FIRST Robotics. As a former teacher, I (Carly) love how durable it is as well. If it can hold up after our two- and four-year-olds have played with it, it can definitely withstand the wear and tear from regular classroom use as well. The biggest thing for teachers to keep in mind if they are just starting out is that coding doesn’t have to be another thing that they add on to their busy schedule. Teachers can use coding to reinforce concepts that they are already teaching in the classroom. Bee-Bot makes it easy to do and fun for students!

We learned that Carly and Adam love one of the new TTS products we are now carrying – Bee-Bot®. We will be partnering with them very soon for a BIG Bee-Bot giveaway. Be sure to follow them to get in on this!

Mark your calendars

The next three-day summit will take place June 21-23, 2021. Learn more at STEMTeacherSummit.com.

“The best part is they’re getting the hands-on, practical experience of doing the activity and working through all the logistics and the questions of how it would work. It’s not just a bunch of theory and ideas. They’re actually doing the activity, which is going to be valuable for them to take into the classroom because they will know what to expect.”

– Joseph Santos, principal, Vista View Middle School, Fountain Valley, California

We enable young learners to develop the mind-set, skill set, and tool set needed for future success.

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