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Tom Jenkins's Blog (13)

Middle School STEM Class Launches Balloon Into Space

Hello All- 


A couple of months ago I was reminded of the importance of social networking in the "21st Century Classroom."   Out of the blue, I received an email from Jason Krueger of Stratostar Systems in Indiana.  It turns out that we were each trying to do the same thing- get kids excited about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  You can imagine my reaction when he mentioned that he would like to help my students send experiments into space.  This Friday, my…


Added by Tom Jenkins on February 27, 2012 at 9:53pm — 3 Comments

Video Games: Helping to fight AIDS

In just three weeks, gamers deciphered the structure of a key protein in the development of AIDS that has stumped scientists for years. According to a study published Sunday in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, the findings could present a significant breakthrough for AIDS and HIV research.

Gamers Unlock Protein Mystery That…


Added by Tom Jenkins on September 27, 2011 at 2:45pm — 2 Comments

NASA Grail MoonKam

A great resource from NASA involving one of their newest missions.  The link below provides access to a wide array of information and resources about our country's efforts to learn more about the moon. 


Looks like there is very cool stuff that is going to be available to educators.  I don't even teach "Space," yet I'm brainstorming ways to try to use this in my class.  Please feel free to share any of your ideas.........



Added by Tom Jenkins on September 7, 2011 at 2:49pm — No Comments

Learn How To Animate Your Class: Scratch Video Tutorials

This time out instead doing a webinar on Scratch, we've decided to break it off into roughly 5 minute chunks to allow you greater flexibilty.  The following links will take you to content that I have created using Jing and shared on www.teachertube.comScratch was a program that I…


Added by Tom Jenkins on April 13, 2011 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

Service Learning- Why not in Math, Science, and STEM?

I recently attended a conference aptly named Forging New Links in Columbus, Ohio. While going through several sessions, I started to notice a trend........Almost everyone that presented or shared taught History, Language Arts, or was involved with a school service group such as student council. I remember in the middle of the second session, thinking to myself- "Where are the Math and Science people!?"

At a certain point, we broke… Continue

Added by Tom Jenkins on April 13, 2010 at 10:30pm — 3 Comments

Use MSP To Network Your Classroom

Okay......Let's say person "A" is in Dayton, Ohio and person "B" in Bakersfield, California. Person "A" is teaching their class about the San Andreas Fault. Person "B" about the invention of flight. Assuming that both of these people are on MSP2- Why not have the classes work together and share their area of expertise/local interests? Contact folks in our on-line community and make the world a smaller, more interesting place. I've done this several times and its something that is fun for the…


Added by Tom Jenkins on March 11, 2010 at 1:32pm — 9 Comments

MSP2 Tech Talk: Moodle II

On September 23rd, I moderated a Tech Talk on the use of Moodle in the classroom. During the session, we discussed some basic tips and tricks on how to use Moodle in the Middle School Classroom. Many of the attendees were already Moodle users and shared some of their experiences with the group. The session was meant to serve as a follow up to my original Introduction to Moodle session from this past August. Below are both webinars for your convience. If you have any questions or would like to… Continue

Added by Tom Jenkins on September 24, 2009 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Classes without grade levels…….Why not?

As the school year approaches, the science teacher inside of me wants to perform an experiment. Over the course of the school year, I would like my technology class to evolve into a class of choice and without limits.

Last year, I had a conversation with our districts director of technology. He mentioned that in his opinion, teachers would eventually become like doctors in which we would test each student and then write a “prescription” in the form of an IEP. The student would then… Continue

Added by Tom Jenkins on August 24, 2009 at 9:59pm — No Comments

Session Archive: Tech Talk: Moodle for Middle School

On August 5th, I moderated a Tech Talk for MSP2 using Elluminate via LearnCentral.org. Over 50 people were in attendance.

Throughout the whirlwind session, we discussed some of the basics in using Moodle in the middle school classroom. Since we covered so much information, we thought that it might be valuable to those that were unable to attend or those that wanted a reference tool to post the slide show in its entirety. There are 2 links below. The first is the Elluminate… Continue

Added by Tom Jenkins on August 5, 2009 at 4:00pm — 5 Comments

So, I'm Starting a STEM Course........

Over the past year and half I have served as a Senior STEM Fellow for the Dayton Regional STEM Center. As a Fellow, I have worked with professors from local universities, engineers from the AFRL, business leaders, and other classroom teachers to help develop STEM curriculum for our schools. This in itself started off as quite a challenge, due to the fact that we were initially stuck on what was… Continue

Added by Tom Jenkins on July 8, 2009 at 10:57am — 15 Comments

Geocaching in the Classroom

Hi All- It's Summer! I'm going to take off for a couple of weeks on a family vacation. While I’m on gone, I will be doing a little Geocaching. Some of it recreational- Some of it educational. When I get back, I will talk about how to use GPS receivers, Geocaching, Google Earth Geocaching KML, and Travel Bugs in an educational setting. If you have experience with any of these tools-please leave a comment or share what you do. If you have any questions, please… Continue

Added by Tom Jenkins on June 2, 2009 at 1:56pm — 7 Comments

Scratch Animation in the Classroom

If you were to have walked into my classroom today, you would have seen preteens creating cartoons or even their own videogames. How is this possible? Computer programming is difficult and can only be accomplished by those with specialized training. Certainly, not a 12 year old with several learning disabilities. It is possible with a program called Scratch.

Scratch is a project of Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. It was… Continue

Added by Tom Jenkins on April 23, 2009 at 1:02pm — 12 Comments

About Me

I'm a middle school teacher of 13 years and still love my job! Even when it involves me trying to play basketball while riding a donkey (see my avatar)...

I'm a National Board Certified Teacher (Early Adolescent Science) at Indian Valley Middle School in Enon, Oh. I have also taught in the Springfield City School District and for Wittenberg University in their Masters of Education program, and served as a Lead Educator for Air Camp.

I am currently teaching Technology and…


Added by Tom Jenkins on March 10, 2009 at 10:30pm — No Comments

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