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The STEM Teacher Podcast

The STEM Teacher Podcast

By John VanDusen
Welcome to The S.T.E.M. Teacher Podcast!
I live, teach, and coach in Kingsford which is located in Michigan's BEAUTIFUL upper peninsula.
Follow me!!
Twitter: @Mr_JVD
Instagram: @mr_jvdusen

(None of the cover art is mine. No copyright infringement intended)
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E82: Robots!
I was able to sit down with Kingsford Middle School Robotics Team member, Emma! She has been working on the KMS Robotics team for years. Other announcements: Follow me on Twitter: @mr_jvd Read my Blog: ALSO:  Be sure to follow the New Teacher Podcast: Also the Route 66 Podcast: TRUST ME!  You will be glad you did!
May 8, 2020
E81: Carpentry
This episode talks about building a stool...but also how to engage kids with carpentry skills and tools. - Measuring Tape - Protractor - Square - Hammer and Nails - Screwdriver and screws - Sandpaper - Stain and Paint Twitter @mr_JVD Insta @mr_jvdusen
April 7, 2020
E80- What do I do now that I'm stuck at home?!
With the COVID19 pandemic, we are all looking for things to do with our kids at home. The STEM Teacher Podcast was MADE FOR THIS! E80 covers other episodes that will help you out, as well as gives some other ideas. Twitter @mr_JVD Instagram @mr_jvdusen
March 18, 2020
***BONUS***Kyle Anderson**BOOK RELEASE!! #ToTheEdgeEDU
One of my very best friends, Kyle Anderson, has published a book that is available today! Follow Kyle here: Twitter: He is the co-host of two podcasts, find them here: The Beer EDU Podcast: The podcast for educators that love to learn and share ideas with fellow educators over beers! Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts! #BeerEDUpod Sons of Technology Podcast: Risk Taking Ideas to promote collaboration and change in classroom pedagogy and student innovation. #EdTechARMY #DitchThatFEAR #TamashaEDU #EDUsofInnovation Love you big guy! Could not be more proud!
March 7, 2020
E79 Let's do some Whittling!
My son recently joined the Cub Scouts and one of the first things we did was earn his Whittling Chip and complete the "Bear Claws" adventure. Whittling can be a lot of fun as long as you do it safely!   Bear Claws Adventure: Whittling Chip: Twitter: @mr_jvd Insta: @mr_jvdusen
March 6, 2020
Episode 78: Be a Detective!
In this episode, we talk about how to do some detective work! We talk about fingerprints, blood spatter, discovering different substances, and identifying bootprints! Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
February 14, 2020
Episode 77: Kids Football
It has been a LONG time since we pushed out an episode here on, "The STEM Teacher Podcast!" This one isn't completly STEM related, but it's helping us get back in the grove. In this episode we talk with my son, James VanDusen, about him playing football with his friends and also helping out on the Kingsford Flivver Sidlines for JV and Varsity football games. Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
December 28, 2019
Episode 76: Lateral Thinking Puzzles
I have had a binder with me over the past 12 years of teaching that I just keep adding to. It is full of brain busting puzzles.  I go over a few in this episode. See if you can figure them out! Twitter: @mr_jvd Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
May 24, 2019
Episode 75: FAIL!!
This episode turned into a bit of a rant. I read an old blog post of mine from 2017 about failure, we talk about how failure might be a good thing, and I finish with some quotes on failure. Buckle your seat belt...this one is a bumpy ride. Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
May 16, 2019
Episode 74: Let it Roll!
 We talk about a 3 week project we do in my room with all kinds of different spheres and how you can have fun  at home by letting them ROLL! Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
May 7, 2019
Episode 73: Support Your Local Library!
In this episode we highlight all the AMAZING things your local library (probably) offers!   Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
April 30, 2019
Episode 72: Wild About Turkeys!
  My students learn about the habitat and sounds associated with the Wild Turkey! National Wild Turkey Federation Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen The Kingsford Flivver Flash Kingsford Flivver Football Follow us on Social Media! Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:
April 23, 2019
Episode 71: Weekend Games
In this episode, long time STEM Teacher Podcast member, James, comes on to tell us some of his favorite games and activities to play both inside and outside. Spoiler alert.....none of them are screen games!   Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
April 13, 2019
Episode 70: Wayne State University C2 Pipeline with Mikayla and Maria
I talk with Maria and Mikayla from Wayne State University in Detroit. Maria is the Student Engagement Coordinator and Mikayla is a C2 Pipeline Student Assistant. We talk about the C2 pipeline and the student outreach to local high schools and the cool activities available in their STEM lab Facebook: Twitter: Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
April 8, 2019
Episode 68: Connect 4
It’s a short but CrAzY week before we kick off spring break! We talk about a fast and fun game we can play with a pair of die! Keep Calm your Internet is on:  Heading into spring break, here are some other episodes to keep you and your kiddos busy! Episode 3: Spring Break STEM Episode 10: Rainy Day STEM Episode 12: Anatomy of a Car Ride: STEM edition Episode 33: Screen Time STEM Episode 35: DIY Birdfeeder Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
March 28, 2019
Episode 67: MACUL 2019 RE-CAP
  The Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) held it’s 2019 conference in Detroit, MI. I was lucky enough to attend for the 3rd year in a row. This was my first year presenting! My presentation was on podcasting, and it’s available here: Stephen Ritz- Founder of the Green Bronx Machine; author: “Power of the Plant.”  Twitter: @StephenRitz Community Podcasting @rmbyrne Games! @Daniel_Spitzley “Gizmos” @lesliefisher   Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
March 26, 2019
Episode 66: Measuring
  Measuring can be fun! In this episode we talk about how Pre-K through 4th graders are measuring to the nearest inch. You can do it with any age! We also preview the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) 2019 conference in Detroit. Keynote speakers: Stephen Ritz- Founder of the Green Bronx Machine; author: “Power of the Plant.”  Twitter: @StephenRitz Gerry Brooks- Elementary school principal and YouTube sensation Twitter: @gerrybrookssprin YouTube:   Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
March 19, 2019
Episode 65: Perimeter
Working with perimeter can be fun, even if you don't know how to measure things! We go over the definition of perimeter as well as things you see every day to get our minds wrapped around what perimeter is. We also talk about how to find things with perimeter and how to measure them EVEN IF you can't use a ruler! There are few bonus perimeters at the end, you'll have to listen to find out what they are! Twitter: @mr_jvd Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
March 12, 2019
Episode 64: March is Reading Month!
March is reading month...but why? Learn what we are doing in Kingsford for MiRM as well as things that might be happening at your local library. I go over some STEM books that your younger elementary children might find interesting as well as some books for those tweens/teens in your life. Last but not least, you will find out WHY March is Reading Month! Why, oh why, oh how could it be? It it because I read in a tree?    ***That's your hint ;) The books I review can be found here: Twitter: @mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
March 5, 2019
Episode 63: Sledding STEM
Do you have snow? Do you want to go sledding?! Learn some cool ways to incorporate STEM into your fun day of sledding! Twitter: @mr_jvd Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
February 26, 2019
Episode 62: Microscope
The microscope has been around since the 1500's! Learn how it was invented, the three types, and all the fun you can have looking at household items under your very own microscope! Twitter: @mr_jvd Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
February 19, 2019
Episode 61: Tongue Twisters
Lean the science behind tongue twisters and how they slow down your brain! There are 3 types of tongue twisters as well as a type for ASL! Twitter: @mr_jvd Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
February 12, 2019
Episode 60: I'm Stuck Inside Because It's Super Cold STEM Part II
With 3 "COLD DAYS" out of the last four school days, here are 4 more ideas for things your children can do. Part I had a lot of "loud" ideas, these are "quiet." Twitter: @mr_jvd Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
February 5, 2019
Episode 59: I'm Stuck Inside Because It's Super Cold STEM
With the temps dropping below zero, here are 5 ideas of things to do when it's SO cold you can't go outside! Twitter: @mr_jvd Insta: @mr_jvdusen
January 29, 2019
Episode 58: SPACE
CAUTION: MIND BLOWING INFORMATION!!!! Learn about the sun, the planets, moons, and why Pluto is no longer a planet! I would say this podcast is "EARTH SHATTERING"....but it's bigger than that! Twitter: @mr_jvd Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
January 22, 2019
Episode 57: Restaurant STEM
Learn 6 different STEM activities you can do (besides Screens...check out Episode 33 for that!) to keep busy at a restaurant while waiting for your food! Twitter: @mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
January 15, 2019
Episode 56: Open Ended Questions
 Communication is paramount when it comes to teaching, parenting, coaching, etc. Listen up on how to engage kids with open ended questions! Also learn how I'm engaging my STEM class using open ended problems! Episode Links How to draw toast: How to be a great 5th grader: Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
January 8, 2019
Episode 55: Back to the Podcast
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Taking a tip from Marty McFly, I go into the past and predict the future of this podcast. Give it a listen, you will be happy you did! Twitter: @mr_jvd Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
January 5, 2019
Episode 54: Bad Teacher Jokes
With break coming up in a day or two, maybe you need a few zingers to lay on your kids while they are home. You WILL NOT be disappointed! #TeacherJokes Twitter: @mr_jvd Insta: @mr_jvdusen
December 20, 2018
Episode 53: Lego Robotics
We talk with Amanda Gibbons about Lego Robotics. Amanda is the Region 1 (Upper Peninsula) director for Michigan.
December 18, 2018
Episode 52: How to be a Secret Agent
You can be a SECRET AGENT by making secret messages! Pair this podcast with the SECRET AGENT youtube video: This worksheet can be printed and used to make your own secret messages: Twitter: @Mr_JVD Instagram: @mr_jvdusen
December 14, 2018
Episode 51: Music
The Kingsford Band is AMAZING! Learn about the band as well as the benefits of playing a musical instrument and simply listening to music! Twitter: @mr_jvd
December 11, 2018
Episode 50: Snow Day STEM
Episode 50 isn't just for when your stuck at home on a "snow day!" Snowmen...Ice Lanterns...Cookies!! Listen to learn about 7 great activities you can do when it's snowy outside! Twitter: @Mr_JVD
December 4, 2018
Episode 49: Architect
So you want to be an Architect!! What does that even mean? You will learn what are architect is, what they do, how much money they make, and how you become an architect. Watch this music video from YKK Architectural Products! Here is a worksheet you can use with your kids: Twitter: @Mr_JVD
November 27, 2018
Episode 48: STEM in Special Education
Our guest Kyle Anderson discusses his experiences in technology and education. We also discuss how STEM is used in Special Education and where STEM is headed in the future. Follow Kyle on Twitter: Listen to Kyle on the Beer EDU podcast:
November 17, 2018
Episode 47: Noise!
We talk about what a decibel is, how loud things are, and the QUIETEST ROOM IN THE WORLD!! My teacher ears think that sounds glorious! Quit Room: Twitter: @Mr_JVD
November 13, 2018
Episode 46: Daylight Savings Time
Do you like DST? What do you REALLY know about it? Learn more! If you want to read more about it, here is a great website:
November 6, 2018
Episode 45: Fire!
Fire can be VERY complex! We talk about the basics of the fire triangle: Heat, Fuel, Oxygen. Check it out! Twitter: @Mr_JVD
November 5, 2018
Episode 44: Shapes
Simple shapes can be a lot of fun! Learn about triangles, squares, rectangles, pentagons, hexagons, and octagons! Spur conversations while in the garage or while on the road! SHAPES ARE EVERYWHERE!!
October 30, 2018
Episode 43: Interview with a "School Tech Guy"
Today we talk with Justin Cowen about 3-D Printing and Coding. Justin is the Technology Integration Specialist for Breitung Township Schools. He is a AP CSP Facilitator and a UP SMILE (Science and Math Integration with Literacy and Engineering) trained educator. Enjoy! Twitter: @Cowen_rocks
October 23, 2018
Episode 42: Fall STEM Ideas
Seven STEM things that you can do with your kids this fall!
October 16, 2018
Episode 41: Fall Colors
Here in the U.P., the trees are almost at PEAK COLOR! We all know that fall trees are beautiful....but why? Listen to find out!
October 9, 2018
Episode 40: Dominoes
Dominoes can be FUN!! ...and you get to learn what a PIP is! Learn 4 games and how to do chain reactions! 1.5 Times Larger: The COG: Dude Perfect Ping-Pong Trick Shots 4:
October 2, 2018
Episode 39: The Moon!
How big is the moon? How much would I weigh on the moon? What is a Waning Gibbous? Listen to find out!
September 25, 2018
Episode 38: Inventors
Great inventions like the handheld camera, Velcro, and peanut butter will be discussed! There is also a BONUS section at the has to deal with diapers....
September 21, 2018
Episode 37: Water Lab
Water Lab in STEM class this week! You can do some neat experiments at home with water! Surface tension can be fun! Stack water on top of a coin? SURE! Float a paperclip? YOU BET! Check out some cool pics at
September 18, 2018
Episode 36: Simple Machines
Have you ever used a spoon to pry out some ice cream? That's an example of a Class 1 lever! Have you ever turned a doorknob? That's an example of a wheel and axle!! Listen in to learn about the 6 simple machines and where you find them every day!
September 12, 2018
Episode 35: DIY Birdfeeder
Quick one today!! My son and I made a bird-feeder this weekend and it's really cool! ...and a little messy!
September 7, 2018
Episode 34: Animal Group STEM
Do you know what a group of hippos is called? How about a group of giraffes? Listen in to find out! Also, there is some bonus material at the end where we learn about some baby animal names! My favorite is a puggle. What kind of animal is that?!?! Listen to find out!
September 3, 2018
Episode 33: Screen Time STEM
Learn some tricks on how to turn SCREEN time into STEM time! Cool Math Games: Engineering Games: PBS Kids Games: WILD KRATTS: Fun Science Demos: DUDE PERFECT: Twitter:
August 31, 2018
Episode 32: Healthy Snack STEM
We will talk about healthy snacks you and your children can make WHILE having cool STEM conversations! Twitter: @Mr_JVD
August 21, 2018
Episode 31: Camping STEM
Making a podcast while camping?!?!?! WHY NOT!! We talk about fire, cooking, and camp engineering!
August 3, 2018
Episode 30: Hoover Dam
On our trip to visit friends in Nevada, we were able to visit the HOOVER DAM!! Also, I have a very special guest on the show, Elsa Anderson. Elsa is the daughter of one of my very best friends, Kyle (@AndersonEdTech) Follow me on twitter @Mr_JVD
July 12, 2018
Episode 29: Artesian Wells
Spured by a visit to the Norway Spring in Norway, Michigan! Artesian wells are really neat and natures way of providing clean water. You will enjoy learning about this amazing piece of nature! Check us out on Twitter: @Mr_JVD
July 3, 2018
Episode 28: Emergency Escape Breathing Devices
Special guest Michael joins us today to talk about the STEM related to EEBD's! From research & development, to testing, to sales. This is an AWESOME episode! Recorded at Fort Dix, NJ Michael is also an Engineer Officer with the Illinois Army National Guard.
June 13, 2018
Episode 27: STEM Free Day!
It's the end of the school year and we are having explore time with a bunch of different STEM materials. It's pretty interesting what my students are doing!
May 31, 2018
Episode 26: 5 STEM things your kids can do to make money.
My son wan'ts a $47 basketball hoop. I'm going to buy it for him, but first he has to earn some money by doing projects around the house. It's not all work, we will have some FUN with the STEM contained in those jobs!
May 22, 2018
Episode 25: Tennis STEM
As a tennis coach, I stay very busy. Not too busy to see all the STEM things that happen on a tennis court! Twitter:
May 15, 2018
Episode 24: Geology
James and I talk about what geology is, how much a carat is, and some of the most expensive rocks in the world! Do you know what the most expensive rock in the world is? Listen and you will find out!
May 6, 2018
Episode 23: Card Games
We talk about 10 cards games you can play with your kids! Check out Episode 22: Dice Games for more great ideas!
May 3, 2018
Episode 22: Dice Games
We talk about seven different dice games you can play and how to modify them for younger and older children. Is it raining outside? GRAB SOME DICE and PLAY!
May 2, 2018
Episode 21: Twenty-One Things to do this Weekend.
Now that it's getting nice out, it's time to get OUTSIDE! Here are 21 ideas of things to try with you kids this weekend!
April 25, 2018
Episode 20: Eneregy
All different forms of energy are talked about! Fossil Fuels, Wind, Solar, Nuclear, and Hydroelectric.
April 24, 2018
Episode 19: Weight and Measurement S.T.E.M.
Talk about length, weight, and distance with your children so they can understand. There are also some fun projects to do in the house or while off on a walk/bike ride!
April 17, 2018
Episode 18: What do you like about S.T.E.M.?
I interview 3rd, 4th, and 1st grade students to see what they like about S.T.E.M. Class, and ask them what kind of S.T.E.M. activities they do at home.
April 13, 2018
Episode 17: Famous S.T.E.M. Quotes
Famous S.T.E.M. quotes from Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford (I'm a FLIVVER...had to!) Dr. Ben Carson, and Bonnie St. John.
April 13, 2018
Episode 16: The Scientific Method
Do you think the Scientific Method is some mystical process that can only be used in the laboratory? It's not!! Let's walk step-by-step through the process to see how it works in every day life. Wait....where are my keys? ;)
April 10, 2018
Episode 15: Five Outdoor S.T.E.M. Projects
With the weather getting nice and kids being able to play outside...cut them loose on some S.T.E.M. projects! Build a club house- Weather Station Make a Map Gutter Boats Build a bird feeder Follow me on Twitter:
April 9, 2018
Episode 14: Animal S.T.E.M.
Let's spark some conversation about animals we might see on a road-trip, camping, or while on a hike!
April 6, 2018
Episode 13: Weather S.T.E.M.
Topics to discuss involving weather! The water cycle, precipitation, wind, and more! Follow me on Twitter as well:
April 4, 2018
Episode 12: Anatomy of a Car Ride: S.T.E.M. edition
A 400+ mile car ride to Lansing made me think of a lot of S.T.E.M. things that could be talked about while on a long trip. Put the screens away and have some S.T.E.M. conversation!
April 4, 2018
Episode 11: Baseball S.T.E.M.
It's OPENING DAY 2018!! Talking about some baseball S.T.E.M. ideas that you can think about, try, explore, and discover with your kids!
March 29, 2018
Episode 10: Rainy Day S.T.E.M.
It's almost spring break and kids will be home and...EXCITED!! Some great ideas of S.T.E.M. things to do at home, even when it's raining!
March 29, 2018
Episode 9: Radiology S.T.E.M.
Our guest Jeremy Thiel, RT(R)(CT) Radiologic Technologist, joins us to talk about the S.T.E.M. involved in taking an X-Ray! Don't doesn't hurt, but you will have to use your brain.
March 27, 2018
Episode 8: American Flag S.T.E.M.
Some interesting facts about the American flag. There is a lot of MATH going on!
March 26, 2018
Episode 7: DEEP inside a 5th grade S.T.E.M. class
I pull 5th graders away from their dog proof trashcans to talk about their progress.
March 22, 2018
Episode 6: Archery S.T.E.M.
Looking at the engineering, math, and physics of modern target archery equipment.
March 21, 2018
Episode 4: The 5 Fastest Cars in the World + 1 Bonus Car!
My first podcast with a guest! My son, James, joins us to share the 5 fastest cars in the world, plus one bonus car...James's favorite!
March 18, 2018
Episode 3: Spring Break S.T.E.M.
A list of 10 S.T.E.M. activities you can do at home while on spring break! ...or anytime really...
March 18, 2018
Episode 2: History of S.T.E.M.
A brief history of STEM. STEM has only been around since 2001.....but Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math has been around forever!
March 18, 2018