eMINTS March Newsletter

eMINTS Newsletter: March 2019

Tad Brinkerhoff Succeeds Christie Terry as Director of eMINTS

Lava Ridge Intermediate in the News!


Lava Ridge Intermediate School, in Santa Clara, Utah is special for their involvement in the eMINTS i3 grant program. Now, they are taking an active role in state politics as well!

Students at Lava Ridge Intermediate have been working hard on a special project: to propose an official state reptile to the Utah state legislature. About 70 students from Mrs. Lund’s Science classes and Mrs. Robins’ Language Arts classes began working back in October, starting with individually researching reptiles that could be used to represent the state. “Students then engaged in a debate, using scientific argumentation, to determine which reptile would have the best chance of becoming Utah’s official state reptile,” said Lava Ridge science teacher Alison Lund.

A student vote was held, and the Gila monster was the overwhelming winner, Lund said, noting that numerous other choices on the ballot included the chuckwalla, desert tortoise, zebra-tailed lizard, western banded gecko, desert collared lizard, Great Basin rattlesnake, Mojave Desert sidewinder and regal ringneck snake. The students then teamed up to find additional research and create presentations about why they thought the Gila Monster should be named as the Utah State Reptile. They learned more about the Gila Monster, the legislative process, and even got to see a Gila monster brought to the school by Cameron Rognan from Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. Each group then had the opportunity to present to a class at Lava Ridge and before a panel of judges. After the judging was completed, Mrs. Andrus helped the finalists practice their debate and presentation skills.

On Monday, February 25th, the 11 finalists were able to travel to the State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City. There they were treated to a tour of the building, presented to the House of Representatives and then four students presented before the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee. The students succeeded in convincing the committee members and House Bill 144 unanimously cleared the legislative hearing. On March 1st, HB 144 was presented to the house of Representatives and passed with 56 yes votes and 8 no. Our next step is to present before the Senate committee. Overall this has been an amazing learning experience!

For more information about the Gila Monster and to follow our progress, visit our website at: http://lavaridge.net/student-station/gogogila/.

Cheri Maxwell is the Learning Coach and SpEd Department chair at Lava Ridge Intermediate, which houses 6th and 7th grade students. She started her eMINTS journey when her school was awarded an i3 grant and became an eMINTS certified Affiliate Trainer last year.

2019 Innovation Institute

Sched Square Event Info (8)

Join your #emints PLN at the 2019 Innovation Institute taking place June 12 & 13, 2019 in Springdale, AR. Now in its fifth year, the Innovation Institute has become the place to connect with other educators, discover innovative school and classroom practices, and transform the teaching and learning experience. With AWESOME keynote speakers, Alice Keeler and Manuel Herrera, and more than 100 sessions to choose from, you are guaranteed a transformational professional learning experience. Did we mention our southern hospitality…continental breakfast, food trucks, and THE BEST prizes around?! Come & explore how you can customize the learning experience, inspire our future designers and creators, and help all learners achieve their maximum potential. Best of all, registration doesn’t get any more economical; $50 to attend one day or $85 gets you 2 days of professional development. Learn more and register at http://bit.ly/2019i2sdale.

3M Young Scientists Challenge

Young Scientists Challege

This challenge is open to students in grade 5-8.
Students should identify a solution to an everyday problem that directly impacts them, their families, their communities, and/or the global population. The student must create a one- to two- minute video that…

  • explains the problem and how it impacts them, their families, their communities and/or the global population;
  • describes a new innovation or solution that could impact or solve the problem;
  • explains the science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics behind their innovation; and
  • illustrates how their innovation could both address the everyday problem they’ve identified and have a broader impact locally or globally.
  • Students innovation can solve any problem that inspires them, across any industry – from manufacturing, energy, safety, healthcare, transportation, electronics to automotive, construction and design to communications, personal safety to professional cleaning; however, students are not limited to these areas of focus. Entrants can find additional inspiration online at www.youngscientistlab.com.

USSSC 2019


The 2019 United States Super STEM Competition is heating up and it’s time for you to get your team registered. Registration is open through March 31, 2019. Get all the information here and reserve your spot to shine!


Project-Based Learning with Agile Project Management


Free Workshops:  The Agile Classroom
Project-Based Learning with Agile Project Management

Click here to register today!

Are you striving to prepare students who are college and career ready with modern 21st century skills?  Join us to learn how you can use Agile Project Management to make project based learning even more powerful for your students. Agile Project Management is a strategy widely used by modern businesses across the STEAM sectors from technology giants like Google and Apple to award-winning storytellers like National Public Radio. The Agile approach places a high value on individuals, collaboration, and the ability to respond to change.

This workshop adapts Agile Project Management from the business world to the classroom. Execute flexible and efficient project-based learning while helping your students attain the valuable attitudes and skills that prepare them for success in our modern world.

Develop strategies to help students:

  • Manage their own cohesive teams.
  • Learn to collaborate effectively with others
  • Respond to change as project work evolves
  • Get project work done without teacher intervention
  • Manage time, set goals, and monitor their own success


  • Three Full Day Sessions – Free of Charge
    • Date: March 1, 2 and a third date in March TBD collaboratively
    • Time: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    • Location: 102 Townsend Hall, University of Missouri Columbia Campus
  • Online Community participation February 23 through March
  • Substitute teacher reimbursement to district- $75 / day
  • Teacher stipend for Agile Project lesson development – $291.00

Sponsored by Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Pathways Project

Delivered by eMINTS National Center Staff


Thursday, March 1   9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


  • Participate in an Agile Management Experience
  • Agile Management Strategies for your Classroom
  • Design Authentic Real-world Project Tasks
  • Interact with a Nureva Span Board

Friday, March 2   9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


  • Panel of Entrepreneurs and Project Managers
  • Field Trip to Shelter’s Say Insurance Group
  • Agile Lesson Design

Third Session in late March – Date to be determined by participants – 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


  • Sharing of Classroom Experiences
  • The Agile Manifesto for Your Classroom
    • People Focus for Project Management
    • Getting Stuff Done
    • Collaboration over Negotiation
    • Responding to Change Instead of Sticking to a Plan
  • Panel – University of Missouri Young Entrepreneurs


Summer registration for eLearning online PD is now open!

Registration is now open for the summer eMINTS eLearning semester.

Courses start June 14, 2017 and run through August 1, 2017. All courses are only $99! Register now.

Our summer courses will include the following:

  • Introduction to Computational Thinking (New!)
  • Fostering Creativity and Innovation in the K12 Classroom with Design Thinking (New!)
  • Online Tools for Digital Age Learning
  • Chromebooks in the Classroom
  • Going Visual: Using and Creating Infographics for Learning
  • Differentiated Instruction: Empowering All Learners

Register and view course descriptions on our course registration site.

Interested in taking our courses for graduate credit?

Click to learn more about the eMINTS eLearning program.



Two Summer Coding Opportunities: Sign up today!

Two Summer Coding Opportunities: Sign up today!

odreams-emintsAre you an educator interested in introducing your students to coding and computational thinking?

  • Two FREE summer coding opportunities   
  • FREE Agent Cubes Software
  • Earn up to a $500 participant stipend
  • Graduate credit available!

Through the grant-funded oDreams project, eMINTS will be offering two professional learning experiences this summer:

St. Louis Summer Institute

What: 3 day face-to-face workshop and 4-week course.
Where: University of Missouri Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO
When: June 20-22, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The 4 week online course is completed at your own pace.
To register, complete this form: St. Louis Summer Coding Institute

Critical Thinking and Game Design 2017 Online Course

What: 6 week online course
When: Beginning June 21, 2017.

To register, complete this form:Critical Thinking and Game Design 2017 Online Course

For more information, please contact Carla Chaffin.

View the details of the courses, including purpose and learning objectives

View the oDreams Project website


eMINTS at #METC17: Register Now!

eMINTS at #METC17: Register now!

There is still time to register for the 34th Annual METC Conference! Join eMINTS for this exciting professional learning opportunity taking place February 13 – 15, 2017 at the St. Charles Convention Center in St Charles, MO.  

eMINTS staff will be presenting the following sessions: 

Session Time Presenter
Cool Tool Duel Tuesday, Feb 14 @ 1:00pm Carmen Marty & other St. Louis Education Technology Specialists:
Pokemon Go in the Inquiry-based Classroom Tuesday, Feb 14 @ 2:20pm Michelle Kendrick & Christie Terry
Administrators, Ramp up your Role with Technology Integration Tuesday, Feb 14 @ 2:30pm Cara Wylie
Innovations in Ed Tech Tuesday, Feb 14 @ 3:25pm Michelle Kendrick & Christie Terry
Ignite the Leader Next Door Wednesday, Feb 15 @ 9:15 am Cara Wylie & Michelle Kendrick

For more information or to register, visit the METC Conference website.

Register for METC!

Closing the Digital Divide with help from Generation YES

Closing the Digital Divide with help from Generation YES

GenYES_LogoSuccessful eMINTS teachers who want to increase their impact in schools now have a new resource to turn to: Generation YES, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with twenty years of experience developing student-led technology support and professional development. As you know, the eMINTS model inspires teachers to use technology to create effective Digital Age learning spaces. So, it is only natural for teachers who have participated in eMINTS programs to build upon their own knowledge and experience and truly incorporate students as part of their school’s transformation efforts.

Highly qualified educators and IT staff don’t have enough hours in the day or the capacity to provide real-time support and training opportunities for students and faculty. Generation YES offers support by creating a web-based platform and curriculum to harness the energy and technology expertise of students in grades 4-12. These students collaborate with educators and other adults to integrate 21st century technology in schools, improving the learning process. While this strategy has become increasingly popular as a ‘homegrown’ model, Generation YES has the experience and existing structure to ensure the success and growth of the program in schools.

The GenYES program, unlike traditional top-down professional development strategies, provides a unique approach to teacher training for technology integration. The program creates a partnership between technology literate students and teachers in the school. This is designed to develop and deliver practical uses of technology into the teachers’ classrooms in order to meet standards and improve student learning. Because of the way that GenYES builds these learning partnerships, it supports such education reform initiatives as real-world relevancy, 21st century skills, problem solving, lifelong learning, technology integration, and collaboration/teamwork for both teachers and students. These initiatives are woven into the fabric of all of the national and state standards for students and for teacher professional development. GenYES also addresses the following:

  •       The need for new methods of teaching and learning to empower students. There is a need for a learning environment where students see the relevance of their education and develop self-esteem resulting from successful contributions to their world.
  •       The need to address the overburdening of educators and the complexity of today’s many technologies. GenYES student technology leaders can make a huge impact on helping teachers in today’s schools.
  •       The need for a learning paradigm that allows students and teachers to work collaboratively to address problems and increase academic skills and intellectual performance. We need to expand the ideas of what students can do to help reform schools. Students are an important resource for teachers. The capabilities of children are often underestimated.
  •       The need to provide equitable access to technology resources. Many schools and homes do not provide sufficient access to computers and networks. Rural and large city schools are especially ill equipped to prepare their students for their futures in an increasingly technological world.
  •      The need to improve student reading and writing skills within the context of content area instruction. By integrating problem solving, research, and presentation skills using technology, students improve these essential communication skills seamlessly.

Generation YES is about trusting in the power of youth to meaningfully contribute to their experiences in education. Please visit genyes.org for more information about the GenYES program including research, whitepapers, implementation models, and news. To inquire about bringing GenYES to your eMINTS school, please email support@genyes.org.

Higher Ed Get Their Game On with eMINTS

Higher Ed Get Their Game On with eMINTS

IMG_0025The White House estimates that by 2018, more than half (51 percent) of STEM jobs are projected to be in computer science-related fields. In order to meet this demand, there’s a new call to prepare higher education faculty and pre-service students to include computational thinking, coding, and computer science into the classroom.

One way to address the shortage is through video game development. Students love games, and the computer skills needed to make games are easily translatable.

The MU College of Education’s eMINTS program was awarded a second CS4HS Google grant for Scalable Game Design for the 2016-17 school year. The goal of this grant is to develop a program of professional learning for faculty. The faculty then work with pre-service teachers to help them understand the value and importance of computational thinking and how they might incorporate coding activities into their subject area curriculum.

Curriculum development is particularly important for serving students who are largely left out of the tech industry. eMINTS research with partner school University of Colorado found that students from groups that are underrepresented in technology fields are more likely to continue with courses and after-school clubs that have a STEM focus.

A workshop to teach faculty was held in October 2016 and included faculty from several different higher education institutions. There is also an effort to train several MU College of Education students to teach coding to third to fifth grade students though the Adventure Club, a Columbia Public Schools-based after-school program.

For more information on eMINTS and the original CS4HS grant, visit: https://sites.google.com/a/emints.org/coding/.

A Roadmap to Empowering Learners with PBL

A Roadmap to Empowering Learners with PBL

Project-based learning is learner-centered, offering students more voice, choice, authenticity, engagement, and ownership than traditional projects. In project-based learning (PBL), students develop unique solutions to meaningful, real-world problems, learning key understandings and skills during their work on the project, not before.  Integrating PBL into classroom practice requires a desire to empower students in our global and digital society, an adventurous spirit and a bit of planning. eMints eLearning for Educators is offering “Empowering Learners with PBL”, a professional development course which will provide you with the tools and skills you need to plan and implement PBL experiences in your classroom.  
The course begins with the essential elements of PBL , introduces you to a roadmap of the PBL experience design and implementation process, and looks at ways to weave voice, choice and technology into your approach to PBL. By the end of the course, you will have a fully developed a PBL experience and a plan for implementing it with your students. The 7 week long course is entirely online, begins February 22, and costs only $99.  To register, go to elearningmo.org.  Graduate credit available.

Teachers needed for Genius Hour and Coding Workshop

Teachers needed for Genius Hour and Coding Workshop starting in February

Are you a 7th – 12th grade teacher interested in a Genius Hour or in introducing your students to coding? A Pathways Project funded by DESE is providing an opportunity to teachers in Central Missouri.

eMINTS will offer an innovative blended professional learning experience.  You may choose from one of two tracks: Genius Hour or Computational Thinking through Game Design.

Where:  Assessment Resource Center (ARC) –  2800 McGuire Blvd, Columbia Missouri 65201 (https://arc.missouri.edu/)

When: February 21st and 22nd and 1 day in late March to be scheduled with participants.

Teacher Stipend: $200 for course completion + $300 for participation in our NSF-funded study including implementation with students

Teachers in the coding track will step into the world of 3D online game design. You will attend two days of face to face PD and complete 4 weeks of an online course followed by a final day in late January before implementing the project with your students. You will also learn about the guided discovery method, Scalable Game Design, used to teach game design and coding. The 4-week online course will consist of weekly assignments, and the expectation is you will need about 3 hours or less per week working at your own time and pace to complete the work. This is a course for non-computer science teachers, but we welcome computer science teachers as well. The online Critical Thinking and Problem Solving with Game Design course and related software are free and you receive a $200 stipend for completing the course.

Once you complete the professional development, you will need about 5 one-hour class periods with students to complete one game with AgentCubes Online software. Students in the program pick up the drag and drop coding easily. They are engaged and excited about making an online video game. The critical thinking and problem solving transfer into other areas and enhance their learning. The program has been highly successful in introducing students to coding and showing transfer of learning. The students begin with a simple game of Frogger and can move to high levels of Scientific or Mathematical simulations. One year of Agent Cubes software is provided free of charge.

Teacher Stipend: $200

Teachers participating in the “Genius Hour” track will learn how to guide students through the process of identifying and carrying out STEM-based community-engagement projects that are driven by students’ own interests and curiosity. You will learn to mentor students as they select their inspiration, focus their goal-driven project, pitch their project, implement the project, and present their results to an authentic audience. This approach will connect students’ passion to STEM fields and careers, making STEM personal and mission driven. You will attend 2 days of face to face training followed by a 4-week online community of practice. In the community facilitators and peers will share example projects, inspirational ideas, and plans for implementing genius hour. In late January, you will come back to Columbia for one additional day of PD and inspiration before implementing the project with your students.

Reserve Your Seat: To reserve a seat for this opportunity, fill out this form.

Seats are limited so sign up today!

For additional information contact: chaffinc@emints.org


New Prices! New courses! Register Dec 7 for eLearning Courses

New Prices! New courses! Register Dec 7

eMINTS eLearning for Educators is about to get even better.

1611-w17-el4e-re-opens-soon-585x280We’re reducing the price of our facilitated courses to $99. That’s more than fifty percent off the previous price. 

 As part of the eMINTS National Center and the University of Missouri College of Education, our mission is to deliver high-quality, research-based, and low-cost professional development for educators.

 We think $99 for high-quality, facilitated professional development is a tremendous value that is hard to beat.

 We’re introducing more new courses, including courses about design learning, PBL, and computational thinking.

 Our spring courses will include the following:

  • Design Thinking in the Classroom
  • Empowering Learners with PBL
  • Innovative Teacher Leaders in the Digital Age
  • ELLs in the Mainstream Classroom
  • Recognizing Students with Dyslexia and Other Related Disorders
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Introduction to Computational Thinking

And coming soon:

  • New website
  • New course designs
  • New formats for courses

Registration for spring semester starts Dec 7, 2016. Courses begin February 22, 2017.

Please continue to send us feedback about our courses. We take into consideration every comment and request and often incorporate suggestions into future offerings.

Lein Shory

eMINTS eLearning Program Coordinator

Visit elearningmo.org for more information on the eMINTS eLearning for Educators program.