Engineering the Future

November 22, 2021

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School Updates

Mission Avenue Elementary STEM:

The first Mission Elementary Avenue STEM week was November 15-19th. an amazing event that included activities in classrooms focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math! The school welcomed visitors each day from Explora, Sandia Labs, Support Staff, ETF Implementation Coaches, and parents during recess who shared STEM activities with students. One of the highlights was the Leadership students from Garfield who performed a drone demonstration for the elementary students. The week wrapped up with a student showcase event where students presented their work and had a visit from The Science Girl who demonstrated her trebuchet!

Please view the video that shows the week's events:

Garfield Middle School STEM Magnet:

The students in Miss Carter-Keesling's APP Creator Classes shared their amazing projects in a gallery walk. Students created apps that played music, created music libraries, and made apps that searched TikTok. Some apps recorded notes and created reminders, organized their classes, or had secret buttons that played music. One app creator invented a journaling app with guiding questions and daily selfie prompts included, and another inventor created an app that included drawing, and shaking the device to reset! The students rocked at explaining their thinking and coding!

Valley High School:

Finally, after 8 years of a global movement, a slim majority, 51% of U.S. high schools offer computer science classes — up from 10%! Valley was one of the first schools in NM to offer Computer Science! Valley Engineering the Future students will be having a fall student showcase on December 7th from 1:00-2:00 pm. The school would like to invite families, community members, and community partners to attend! Register here! Valley Showcase

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Professional Development Opportunities with Explora

Explora Workshops for Teachers, Librarians, and Out-of-School Time Educators!

Workshops are held virtually and some include a kit of materials. Pre-registration is required. Click on the name of the workshop below to register

  • Creative Coding I: Make computer science accessible, creative, and fun by bringing the making mindset to student projects. In this series of workshops, you will learn to use simple, common materials with micro:bit microcontrollers in creative ways. No previous coding experience required. December 8 from 4-6pm.

  • Creative Coding II: Intermediate level coding workshop for those who have taken Creative Coding I or have some experience with micro:bits. December 10 from 4-6pm.

Bring EXPLORA and STEAM learning to your classroom

Explora is proud to announce the Classroom Connections program is back, made possible through generous funding from AFRL New Mexico. Together, we are connecting New Mexico students with STEM professionals to reveal possibilities for their future.

The purpose of this program is to create a fun, interactive space to share the story of the work and career pathway of STEM professionals to a group of students for about 30 minutes. This is a terrific way for students to hear first hand what it is like to both become and work as a STEM professional. Each partnership is unique based on the needs of the classroom, expertise of the professional, and time commitments. The partners determine what works best for them and the students, with support from the Explora team.

We will be taking registrations from STEM professionals and educators through the end of November in order to make the first round of matches before winter break. Once the spring semester starts in January, we will be opening the program for another round of matches.

Register as a STEM Professional

Register as an Educator

More Professional Development Ideas!

Ditch that Textbook Digital Summit!

Here's one of the BEST things about the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit: it happens on your time.

Sure, they release new sessions day by day for nine days. But once they're out, you can watch them (or rewatch them!) whenever and wherever you want, from the time it opens on December 13 until it closes on January 7. Go to to get signed up.

Apple Computer Science Week!

Build fun into fundamental coding skills. Everyone Can Code Early Learners is designed to introduce coding in the early grades, when learners are first developing computational-thinking

skills. Through these lessons, learners in kindergarten through third grade will discuss, discover, and play to build a foundation in core coding concepts using Swift Playgrounds on iPad.

Download the guide

Explore app design during Computer Science Education Week. Great apps start with great ideas. During Computer Science Education Week — from December 6 to 12 — inspire your students’ great ideas with our new Inclusive App Design activity. Challenge your class to identify problems they care about, then plan, prototype, and share app ideas that everyone can access and understand.

Get started

CS Connections is available now, with more lessons coming next year. The curriculum incorporates this year’s Hour of Code activities and makes the connections between learning computer science and other subjects like language arts, science, math, and more. Interested teachers from any discipline can view the curriculum and activities here.

Plus, register today for a special episode of CodeBytes. Tune in on Tuesday, December 7, at 10 a.m. ET and again at 10 a.m. PT and we’ll show students how to get started with the Poem Art Hour of Code activity, which doubles as the first lesson in CS Connections’ module on poetry.