Summer STEM Teachers Flop

Every year Wake Education Partnership, Wake County Schools, and numerous STEM businesses create a hands-on, immersive professional development experience for over 100 educators in the Summer STEM program. This is our second year being a part of it, but the first time for all of us doing it virtually.

We brainstormed a few possibilities with the coordinators and ultimately landed on a modular approach. After lunch on Monday, we spent 30 minutes introducing basic flop ball tricks and 2 parts of our Flop-osophy strategies. After one of the practice sessions (with dogs, cats, and kids jealously watching), we asked teachers to share 1 thing that they noticed or were reminded of while they played with the flop ball. Here are just a few of the responses showing that we need to laugh, move, and be reminded that mistakes are okay at all ages.

"It reminded me that I need breaks while stuck at home."

"I don’t like when I mess up - but it can still be fun!"

"I assumed I couldn't do it and then I found it somewhat easy - I should believe in myself."

"I've got to find ways to get students out of their seats for virtual sessions."

"It was fun to try it together and laugh"

"Kids will buy in if you look like you are having fun"

"Ok to have fun and make mistakes"

At the close of Monday, we challenged the teachers to practice at least 5 minutes a day and provided them with short videos for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to guide their practice. On Friday, we shared our 2 other Flop-osophy strategies, more advanced flop ball tricks, and then took them through an experience that one participant described as “exhilarating.” 

Visit to learn more about our professional development programs for teachers.