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

Education and business and industry: Partners in careers

Posted by Patty Cooke on December 15, 2018

When it comes to education and business, we often think of them as two separate entities. While education, especially higher education, presumably leads to a career, there isn’t always a clear connection between what we learn in school and the skills we end up using on the job.

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Topics: Workforce Development, Hands-on Learning, 21st Century Skills, Career Expeditions, Careers, Trends, STEM, Culture, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, FUNDING, IN THE CLASSROOM

Relaunching a favorite: The Straw Rocket Launcher gets an upgrade

Posted by Patty Cooke on November 01, 2018

If you read Anna Gudde’s recent blog post, “Cover to cover STEM!,” you know that our 2018-19 Elementary STEM catalog came out recently. And if you’ve browsed the pages of the catalog, you might’ve noticed an exciting change to one of our most popular products – the Straw Rocket Launcher.

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Topics: Physics, Hands-on Learning, Activities, Engineering, STEM, Collaborations, IN THE CLASSROOM

Robotics: Connecting school, work, life

Posted by Patty Cooke on October 18, 2018

Administrators and teachers in the Yakima (WA) School District are determined to give their students every opportunity to succeed – in school and in life.

Already home to an extensive CTE program, the district has decided to give students even more opportunities by expanding their robotics programs. To that end, they’ve added nine TETRIX® MAX R/C Getting Started Packages, two Robotics: Urban Search & Rescue Challenge Sets, and 20 TETRIX MAX Dual-Control Robotics Sets to their program.

We had the chance to speak with CTE Technical Support Specialist Eric Franz about the district’s intentional efforts to grow robotics opportunities for students.

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Topics: Hands-on Learning, TETRIX Robotics, 21st Century Skills, USAR, STEM, Technology, ROBOTICS, Competitions

Your next STEM mentors: Senior citizens

Posted by Patty Cooke on August 22, 2018

National Senior Citizens Day was earlier this week (8/22/18). First designated as such in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan, National Senior Citizens Day recognizes the importance of senior citizens in our personal lives as well as in our communities (EMS Safety).

As we’ve all seen, senior citizens have a lot to offer, including time, patience, and love, and they are overwhelmingly willing to offer it up freely! At least one center has recognized the importance of senior citizens and the value they bring to children. Providence Mount St. Vincent in Seattle, Washington, houses both an elderly care facility as well as a licensed child care center called the Intergenerational Learning Center. Here, young and old sit side by side, participating in music, art, and other activities. The nursing home residents serve as friends, mentors, and stand-in grandparents while the children, who see everything through eyes of wonder, provide laughter, joy, and boundless energy (Providence Health & Services).

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Topics: Hands-on Learning, Authentic Learning, Careers, STEM, Culture, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, IN THE CLASSROOM

Back to school: Make it a great year!

Posted by Patty Cooke on July 30, 2018

As educators well know, the beginning of a new school year can be overwhelming for all involved. Parents are anxious about leaving their children in the hands of others. Students are anxious to do well and not fall behind. And teachers, from first-year educators to veterans, are anxious to instill knowledge into a new group of students while managing their classroom and keeping an eye on the health and emotional well-being of each child.

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Topics: Teacher Development, Resources, Culture, Teacher Resources, IDEAS & INSPIRATION