Professional Development with KEVA Planks
Your teachers will thank you!
Bring one of the most enjoyable, unusual and practical professional development experiences available to your teachers. The time goes fast. The energy is high. Teachers will be equipped to implement immediately. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for our rates and to discuss your objectives.
Are you a professional development trainer? We’d love to help you include KEVA planks in your next workshop. We don’t mind sharing our secrets with you.
Need a Keynote speaker? Dr. Ken Scheel brings his compelling experience as an award winning professional toy Inventor, founder of KEVA Planks and internationally sought after education consultant. Email email@example.com and tell us about your event.
Power Point Free Zone
KEVA planks workshops are 100% hands on learning with no power points - just like the classroom. KEVA planks activities are based on simple open-ended challenges that are easy for any teacher to use.
Any teacher who has attended a KEVA workshop will feel fully confident to implement the activities without further training. We purposely make it simple and easy.
Why is it so fun?
KEVA workshops are fun for teachers because constructing things with KEVA planks is inherently enjoyable for people of all ages - adults like it just as much as kids. Therefore, teachers are not enduring a childish activity during the workshop - they are doing an adult activity that appeals to children as well.
How much do you cover?
We move as fast as we can so we can show teachers as many applications as possible. Generally we will give participants just enough time to become fully engaged in the challenge so they will understand what their students will experience. Then we will interrupt your fun to provide tips and variations for the challenge. i.e. how could you adjust the parameters with fewer planks, more children, more time, special needs kids, gifted kids etc. Then we move on to the next challenge. By doing the challenge, workshop participants remember them. We provide a handout loaded with activities, challenges and games.
What is Stealth STEM?
Stealth stem is a sneeky way to inject STEM concepts into other school subjects. For instance, if you are learning about Forts or pioneers, you could build a fort with KEVA planks or a settlement. Geography? Create a room sized map of your state and construct buildings for the capital city and major regions in the state. Create rivers to show the watershed for the state. Where are the highways? etc. Reading about the three little pigs? build a sturdy house and a flimsy house.
Bugs - design your own insect (it must have six legs). People remember things better when their hands and bodies are part of the learning process. We show you how to add hands-on learning to almost any topic. As students build any structure, they learn about balance, leverage, symmetry, structural integrity and much more.
Put the STEAM in STEM
Art and Design are part of every KEVA planks project. Patterns, shapes, sculptures, 2D and 3D designs are an inherent part of the experience. Artistic design should not be separated from technology - Ask Steve Jobs.
Why do they work so well in the classroom?
Since all the pieces are the same, students waste no time sorting and prepping for a project. In moments the activity is under way. Projects tend to flow and evolve without a lot of carefull pre-planning. When finished, cleanup is quick because the blocks do not stick together and they all go back into the same containers.
Top Ranked Workshops
Ken School KEVA planks workshops were ranked #2 at the prestigious Young Child Conference and Expo, NY 2012 and routinely receive top reviews at conferences and from STEM consultants.
What people say about KEVA Workshops and KEVA planks
No teacher should miss the opportunity
We all think we know how to play with blocks. We played with them as kids ourselves - what's the big deal?
Ken Scheel, founder of Keva Planks and perhaps the country's foremost proponent of the importance of block play for child development, can explain.
I attended one of Ken's workshops recently and I was astonished by the breadth and depth of his knowledge. I thought I knew about blocks. This guy has thought of ways to use them which had simply never occurred to me.
In a Ken Scheel workshop, participants get to play with blocks in ways they've never dreamed of. Math concepts, group dynamics, balance, teamwork, architecture . . . he covers it all, and in a manner so engaging, so inviting, you end up learning and dreaming even if you'd come just because the workshop looked like it might be fun.
And it is.
But it's much more than that. Along with the fun, Ken teaches foundational concepts of order and balance, of teamwork and individual excellence. His workshops are engaging, enlightening and just plain fun. No teacher should miss the opportunity to experience the Joy of Blocks.
Executive Director, Lakita Roy Foundation
Early Intervention Center
Karuna Vihar Special School
Center for Child Development
College of Vocational Training
Math Science Innovation Center
The training provided by Ken is a fast paced engaging exercise that caught the teachers’ attention from the first moment; it informed teachers with a variety of activities and extensions that modeled how the planks could be used with students; all the while referencing our Standards of Learning in a concrete fashion.
One thing I love about the KEVA planks is that it can be done as a day starter, the day ender, or the five minutes before lunch. It takes little to no time to pass out materials and solve a problem, but it does take LOTS of creativity and imagination! It really focuses the masses!
Keva continues to be one of the most popular exhibits at the Museum of Life and Science, concentrating the pace of discovery by using problem solving skills which are engaging at any age. Our Keva exhibit resides in a revolving gallery space, and as special exhibits come and go Keva moves due to its wonderful portability. No matter where we house the exhibit though, even slow days will find patrons packed into the area, building new things with every visit.
It is easy to see why the product is also a top seller in our gift stores. The desire for continuation of this experience at home is high, and yet some stores can’t articulate what these simple planks can do by words alone.
A Keva exhibit provides something that retailers and museums alike should be seeking everyday – that of an imagination driven experience that changes every time, and is as valid in the home as it is in the exhibit. “Bringing the experience home with you” allows our mission to strengthen our patrons love of our museum and of science in general. As retailers such as REI add in-store rock walls, or Apple Stores engage with services and models you can access; Keva exhibits provide a hands-on laboratory that engages the imagination quickly through tactile learning.
In the workshop Ken Scheel provided for our museum, we had many museum professionals from several departments engage in Ken’s easy to follow tutorials. Staff members that were quite familiar with exhibit development, retail sales, educational games, and Keva itself were still astounded by the myriad of ways these blocks can be used.
Ken showed us how even the basic three forms (flat, edge, and upright) can be used to teach a group about their own diversity in decision making. The “build a world” game we played allowed the builder to step into a community level of building outside of individual structures. We found a myriad of brain teasers and skill games that could be facilitated with as little as 10 blocks. Straight out of the box, imagination drives the planks; but with Ken’s facilitation and techniques, we all learned more than we could have imagined. Patrons and exhibitors simply must experience it to “fully get it”.
Ken brings not only a wealth of knowledge to the training, but a teaching style that is immediately comfortable and engaging. You can tell that his experiences with the block are time tested and thoughtfully picked, and that his passion for what they can teach us is equally extensive. We would recommend Keva and Ken for any museum not only as an engaging exhibit experience, but also as a team and discovery building workshop.
Retail Operations Manager
Museum of Life and Science
Class time literally flew by too quickly
I am a teacher of the gifted in Kansas and am constantly on the lookout for building opportunities for my students. I stumbled upon Keva Planks at The Learning Tree and on an impulse purchased the 400 plank set. I was eager to see what my jaded 6th grade students would do with them. Haltingly at first they began to build and were so engulfed in the activity. Our class time literally flew by too quickly. 400 were obviously not enough for this crew so I quickly purchased an additional 400, followed by 200 more and then an additional 400. We often use all 1400 planks during one of our building days. I have used the planks with students from kindergarten to sixth grade and they all universally love your product and beg to have a "Keva Day". Entertaining and educational.
I learned of Keva Planks at the DaVinci Science Center in Allentown, PA and was amazed to see how these planks can be used to build simple structures as well as complex architectural designs. I watched a five-year-old build with Keva Planks for far longer than one would have imagined her attention span would predict, and I saw a 55-year-old creating a skyscraper, delighted with his masterpiece! Their expressions of concentration, their creativity, and their obvious pleasure, give witness to the unique attraction of Keva Planks.
I teach science methods for prospective elementary teachers. My students will use Keva Planks for deeper understanding of the forces involved in structures. As they connect their creations to other content areas, such as literature and history, their level of understanding will become deeper and more authentic.
College Professor - Early Childhood
I obviously love your product and tell everyone I meet at my elementary STEM workshops about it. Keep up the good work!
Technology Is Elementary
For all ages and ability levels
The KEVA Planks have been a HUGE hit at my school. My principal ordered the class set as soon as I requested it. I have found them to be great for all ages and ability levels. They are helpful for fine motor practice and basic counting for special needs students. I have put up posters of the Roman Coliseum and Greek temples, and teams have built replicas. Students' favorite thing to do seems to be to build a tower as tall as possible, climbing on chairs to complete the structure. Setting a specific goal for a team keeps the students focused and nudges them to cooperate. I even have used them with my SUMMIT group, which is a class of students who have been expelled from other schools for behavior issues. This is a tough group, and they need opportunities to work together, take turns, negotiate, communicate effectively, and help one another. I see Keva Plank projects as a way to foster these behaviors in all students, even those who usually have difficulty working well with others.