The Cobb County School District recently presented 16 teachers with the Cobb STEM Distinguished Educator Award.
“This program is designed to recognize exceptional K-12 teachers in our district who have made a commitment to meaningfully implementing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in their classrooms,” said Tania Pachuta, STEM Professional Learning Specialist for the district.
Teachers apply by submitting a portfolio of evidence documenting the various STEM experiences they have engaged in and provided for their students throughout the year. For example, Mableton Elementary School teacher Alana Davis runs the afterschool aerospace engineering club, STARBASE 1.5, that skypes with NASA engineers. Kerri Waller is a Simpson Middle School teacher who has received national recognition in Arts & Activities Magazine for her STEAM work with students. Portfolios are reviewed and points are awarded based on certain criteria. The program is modeled after the Georgia Department of Education STEM Educator Laureate Program.
Award winners receive various prizes, with the top winner earning a Sphero robot for use in the classroom, along with a trip to a Georgia educator conference of the winner’s choice. This year’s top STEM educator, Paulette Allard, teaches at Harrison High School.
“It is rewarding to have achieved such a high level of recognition for participating in the program, but I am also immensely thankful that it gave me a springboard to help my students achieve great things through their STEM experiences as well,” said Allard.
Awards are generously sponsored by nexAir, LLC, a leading distributor of atmospheric gases and welding supplies with locations across the mid-south, including Marietta.
The top five winners include Paulette Allard, Harrison High School; Alana Davis, Mableton Elementary School; Sean Splawski, Mableton Elementary School; Annette Simpson, McCleskey Middle School; and Michael Lee, McEachern High School.
More information about the program, including a full list of award winners, can be found at www.stemcobb.com.