Patty Cooke

Patty Cooke
Hello! I work as a communications assistant here at Pitsco, editing, writing, helping with publications, and working with other departments to help create awesome STEM materials and resources. I learned my love of storytelling from my dad, who constantly entertained me and my 11 siblings with the most fascinating, albeit fictional, stories. His tales kept us out of our mother’s hair for a while and probably saved her sanity. Our blog posts aren’t fictional, of course, but I still enjoy infusing the same amount of fun that Dad put into his stories. I hope reading these posts brings you equal enjoyment.

Recent Posts

It’s Great Outdoors Month®! Let’s go camping!

Posted by Patty Cooke on June 21, 2018

June is Great Outdoors Month®. And what a perfect month it is to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer! The weather is nice, school is out or coming to a close in most areas, and the outdoors beckons us like never before. Plus, the Great American Campout is this Saturday, June 23. So it’s exactly the right time to join in on the fun!

Camping, one of many outdoor activities, always brings back fond memories for me. Every summer without fail, my parents loaded up the van with food and drinks, along with my brothers and sisters and me, and we went to my grandparents’ cabin in Fall River, Kansas, at least once, if not several times throughout the summer. At the cabin, being outdoors was the name of the game. We went fishing, swimming, and boating at Fall River Lake; shot off fireworks in the large, open area behind the cabin; and spent most of the days and evenings outside playing with cousins and listening to the grown-ups relax and enjoy each other as well.

Read More

Topics: BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, STEM, Social and emotional learning, Activities, 21st Century Skills, Hands-on Learning

‘I’m ready for the next Expedition!’

Posted by Patty Cooke on June 18, 2018

Hands-on curriculum renews passion for learning in teachers and students

Read More

Topics: IN THE CLASSROOM, Middle School, STEM Expeditions, Authentic Learning, STEM Units

Mapping your future in middle school

Posted by Patty Cooke on May 31, 2018

WorkKeys®-aligned Career Expeditions exciting piece of Yankton (SD) School District’s employability plan 

Imagine being a seventh or eighth grader and seeing your future open up before your eyes. That’s the reality for middle schoolers in Yankton, South Dakota, who are poised to be among the most employable high school graduates – once they get there – thanks to a concentrated effort by their teachers and administrators to instill lifelong 21st-century skills as early as middle school.

Read More

Topics: IN THE CLASSROOM, Middle School, Careers, Career Expeditions, WorkKeys

Grant yourself an easy summer

Posted by Patty Cooke on May 18, 2018

As the school year winds down, our thoughts turn to summer vacations, relaxing by the pool, and catching up on some good reads.

Well . . . maybe not everyone’s thoughts are there quite yet. For teachers, summers are also often filled with professional development, room organization, and curriculum prep for the following year.

Read More

Topics: FUNDING, Teacher Resources, Science, STEM, Grants

Top 10 spring and summer activities

Posted by Patty Cooke on April 05, 2018

As we dive deeper into spring – and look forward to summer – we prepare for the upcoming changes.

The warmer months ahead can mean many things, both good and, well, not as good. Better weather usually means more outdoor activities such as summer camps, but the extended time out of school can mean bored kids and a learning slide teachers fight against the rest of the year.

But spring fever doesn’t have to equal a lack of learning, and summertime doesn’t have to mean boredom. If you want to keep the learning going and keep students engaged, there are several things you can do.

Read More

Topics: BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, ROBOTICS, Camps, Makerspaces, STEM, Dragsters, Coding, STEM Units