Scott Donnelly teaches STEM and Social Studies at Carnegie Elementary in Carnegie, PA. Over his 9 years at Carnegie, Donnelly has transformed his teacher-centered, book-based classroom into a collaborative, student-centric environment with many current event and real world themed projects.
The acronym F.A.I.L. (First Attempt In Learning) is prevalent throughout his classroom culture. His evolving teaching philosophy comes in part from many outstanding professional development scholarships that support 21st century learning. MEMTA (Mickelson Exxon Mobil Teachers Academy) preached the importance of the “5-E” learning cycle that put students at the center. Honeywell Educators Space Academy–Space Camp–at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL helps teachers learn new techniques for cultivating curiosity for math and science in the next generation of engineers, programmers, mathematicians and astronauts.
Finally, a scholarship to Engineering is Elementary (EiE) at the Museum of Science in Boston stressed the Engineering Design Process and its importance to student collaboration in STEM and any other real-world situations.
As often as possible, Donnelly puts learning into regional, real-world context. Whether it’s autonomous cars, robotics, drilling for energy, or a local company creating tech for the US Olympic Team, Carnegie students frequently become more engaged by local STEM connections.
After years of his students sharing their misconceptions of who STEM professionals are, Donnelly started a speaker series called “WiSE-Women in Science and Engineering”. He brings in women who have successful careers in aerospace engineering, gaming, chemistry, app-coding, and medical research to inspire girls at the elementary level so they are confident in choosing STEM track classes once they have a choice in junior high and high school.
Through private fund-raising, Donnelly has equipped his room with resources to allow students to experience hands-on learning as well complete projects that often span nationally and even internationally. Donnelly justifies this: “In my opinion, today’s elementary students will grow up into a work environment that becomes borderless and requires multi-cultural collaboration and teamwork made possible by technology. Exposing my students to peers from other parts of our country—and other parts of the world—prepares them for a global economy and workplace.”
Scott Donnelly’s classroom at Carnegie Elementary contributes to Remake Learning’s mission by its engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices.”