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Two Hillsboro Charter teachers among four national representatives at Florida conference

Hillsboro Charter Academy teachers Miranda Meadows and Stacie Kling and STEAM Specialist Megan Tucker attended the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando Florida. Courtesy Photo
Two Hillsboro Charter Academy teachers were selected to represent America’s teachers at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando. They were two of four total representatives across the country.

This is the second year in a row that HCA teachers have been included on the representative team.

The conference is meant to promote cooperation among the Armed Services, modeling and simulation industry, academia and various government agencies. Attending teachers learn about instructional strategies in modeling and simulation, technology and potential career paths for students.

Teachers and specialists got to interact with these industry professionals and see new and developing technologies on an exhibit floor.

Fifth grade teacher Stacie Kling and second grade teacher Miranda Meadows served as the representatives, and attended the late November conference with the school’s STEAM Specialist Megan Tucker.

Tucker said she was invited to the conference by I/ITSEC because of prior involvement, and Meadows and Kling went through the selective application process. The other two representatives came from a Florida school system.

Teachers from schools that already integrate STEAM education in curriculum are the target audience for the conference, Tucker said. In recent years, the conference has made an effort to target elementary school teachers, in an attempt to educate students even earlier about potential job opportunities.

HCA stands out against other schools for its dedication to STEAM education. The school focuses on hands-on lessons and also teaches coding.

“When we ask industry professionals what we could do, we found that we were already doing a lot of it,” Meadows said. “It’s amazing knowing we’re on the right track and learn what we can keep doing.”

Kling said teachers work with local engineers and industry professionals to get an idea of what kind of projects exist and the skills needed to thrive in the industry. Then, teachers start teaching these skills through more concrete and physical forms of modeling and simulation and add technology as the students get older.

This technique was something she and Meadows took and shared with other teachers and conference attendees. In return, the Hillsboro teachers learned about technology and jobs they didn’t even know existed, that they now get to share with students.

“Now this week when we are challenging ourselves and or students to complete 12 hours of coding, I am able to tell them about jobs and opportunities that I did not even know existed until my experience at I/ITSEC,” Meadows said. “I love that I have been able to share my experience with my students. They are so excited about M&S and has been constantly asking me questions and wanting to know what they can do to create simulations in in their own.”

Conference attendees included all branches of the military, Boeing, Lockheed, Booz-Allen Hamilton, Rockwell Collins, Moog, BAE System, Raytheon and SAAB.

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That’s awesome. Well done ladies!

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