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20140604 Twitter Chat: Experiential Education

bb_twitterchatJoin us on Wednesday June 4 at 8 PM EST for our weekly Twitter Chat by following #BigBeacon.

Here’s a message from this week’s guest hosts, Taormina and Jessica of Outbound Adventurer:

Bringing experiential education from the field and the lab to the


Hi, everyone! We’re super excited to be co-hosting a Twitter Chat about experiential education with Big Beacon, a collaboration of educators spearheading a movement to transform engineering education. As travel junkies and education nerds, we are always looking for new ways to collaborate with both communities to help bring real world experiences to students of all ages.

So, what is experiential education?

We’ve all had a few experiences, and we’ve all had a little education. But what is experiential education? Isn’t all education an “experience”, in one form or another?

In its simplest definition, experiential education is education that puts the student directly into the shoes of a real world problem-solver. Students learn by doing, not just hearing about what the doing is supposed to be like.

So, what does this look like? Examples of experiential education include outdoor or environmental education, cooperative learning in groups tailored to mix different learning styles, job shadowing, and community service education initiatives.

Experiential education really seeks to quench the need for those oft-repeated 21st century skills, like technology awareness, team working skills, and broad thinking. It does so in part through hands-on and student-driven activities, student choice and student accountability for their own work.

At its core, experiential education is meant to be relevant, applicable, and challenging. It’s meant to be engaging and enjoyable, and it’s meant to give students a heads up on what their passions are (or aren’t).

Questions to Ponder Pre-Chat:

  1. What is your background and involvement in engineering and science?

  2. What does experiential education mean to you?

  3. How critical is the role of experiential education in expanding student interest in and awareness of engineering fields?

  4. What role do field and lab experiences play in the education and networking abilities of the whole new engineer?

  5. Do you or could you incorporate experiential education into your educational practices? In what way(s)?

  6. What are some challenges you’ve faced (or could face) when pursuing experiential education in engineering?

  7. Are there any experiential education opportunities you’ve, perhaps unexpectedly, found particularly effective? What were they?

  8. What comments do you have regarding incorporating experiential education into a classroom for the first time?

How to Twitter Chat:

For those of you who are new to the idea of a Twitter Chat, don’t worry! It’s incredibly simple to join in and add your voice to the conversation. All you have to do is log into your Twitter account at 8pm EST on Wednesday, June 4th and search for the hashtag #BigBeacon. The results page will bring up the chat and you can follow along. Just make sure that if you contribute you add #BigBeacon to the end of your tweet so that it appears in the chat!

About Us:

Taormina Lepore has worked and volunteered as an educator in science museums around the U.S. She received her B.S. in biology and her M.S. in museum and field studies, where her research focused on tissue samples within fossilized tyrannosaur droppings. She is currently a secondary school anatomy and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) biomedical sciences teacher with a strong focus on project based learning and experiential education.

Jessica Honard started her career as an English teacher who adamantly demanded multidisciplinary work from her students. Since earning her M.Ed. in educational administration, she has moved into the world of science museums, where she has had the opportunity to work with experts in a variety of fields while helping to develop interdisciplinary curriculum and professional development workshops that connects museums to the classroom.

Together, Taormina and Jessica have formed Outbound Adventurer, an adventure travel blog that focuses on incorporating experiential learning opportunities into everyday life, no matter where in the world you might be.


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