Iott presents at state teachers conference

Ann Iott, center, receives encouragement for her McWane Center presentation from Heritage students Ella Carter, Colton Garner, E.J. Biggers, Saniya Thigpen, Emilia Pierce, Jack White and Zaiden Langford. CONTRIBUTED
Ann Iott, center, receives encouragement for her McWane Center presentation from Heritage students Ella Carter, Colton Garner, E.J. Biggers, Saniya Thigpen, Emilia Pierce, Jack White and Zaiden Langford. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – For the first time, Ann Iott will attend the Alabama Science Teachers Association Conference but not as a delegate. Conference organizers selected Iott as one of presenters for the educators’ forum.

Iott, a second-grade teacher at Heritage Elementary School, will speak on “Engineering Design Process in Elementary.” The conference is scheduled at McWane Science Center in Birmingham on Feb. 16-17.

For 2016, the conference theme “What Are They Thinking?” focuses “on students’ preconceptions and misconceptions about science content and how teachers can utilize that knowledge to be college and career ready,” Iott said.

Iott, member of the state’s College and Career Ready Standards implementation team, is familiar with Alabama’s newly adopted science standards. These educators “are dedicated to learning and understanding the new standards and sharing this knowledge with our peers,” she said.

Leaders of the local implementation team encouraged Iott to apply as conference presenter. “I’m particularly excited about engineering practices embedded within the new standards. I applied to present on that topic and hope to get other teachers excited about them, too,” Iott said.

“Elementary students are natural-born engineers,” Iott said. She will discuss incorporating the engineering design process into the classroom while teaching new science standards. “We’ll create a project to solve a real-world problem by planning, creating, improving, questioning and imagining.”

“Come learn how to inspire the future engineers in your classroom,” Iott said.

Iott believes children are engineers at heart. “They love to solve problems, collaborate and explain their thinking. The engineering practices within the new standards are an opportunity for teachers to teach the questions instead of the answers,” she said.

“Students are going to be engaged in real-world, problem-solving scenarios,” Iott said. “They’re going to be in charge of their learning as they design, develop and construct projects.”

Her husband Timothy works as plant manager of Bodycote Thermal Processing in Athens. Their son Nicholas is a senior at James Clemens High School and participates in the Engineering Academy. Daughter Susan, a James Clemens freshman, is interested in environmental engineering.

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