Three teachers and three schools have been honored by the Kentucky affiliate of the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA), which recognizes outstanding efforts in engineering, aviation and STEM areas. One winner each from elementary schools, middle schools and high schools were chosen to receive the Teacher Excellence Award and the Program Excellence Award.
Here are the winners of the Teacher Excellence Award:
- Karla Johnson, Nancy Elementary School (Pulaski County) – Johnson’s program is integrated into the overall K-5 science content for the entire school. She collaborates with all teachers in curriculum mapping and scope and sequence of topics to ensure that all students receive a quality and well-rounded science experience.
- James Gary, Bondurant Middle School (Franklin County) – As part of the enrichment team, Gary has more than 175 students rotating through his classroom every day. His classes work on teaching students hands-on experiences with technology. Gary works to tie in cross-curriculum instruction by bringing in the Next Generation Science Standards engineering practices, math calculations and writing. Abstract thinking is an everyday occurrence inside his classroom.
- Tim Oltman, Martha Layne Collins High School (Shelby County) – Oltman has created a program designed to ignite a passion in all of the school’s students. With the help of co-teacher Shane Ware, students find their passion and can apply it to school, thus taking control of their own learning, and they can eventually teach others because they learn more than teachers could ever teach them.
Here are the winners of the Program Excellence Award:
- Nancy Elementary School (Pulaski County) – The school has a STEM Lab that services all students in grades K-5. All students are on a rotation and come to the science lab for a week at a time every three weeks. Students are receiving a rigorous amount of time in the lab throughout the school year. Having this program allows all students to receive a real, hands-on approach to STEM curriculum and connect what they learn to real-world problems and solutions. Technology through smart boards, VEX robots, iPads and a 3-D printer are used in the classroom on a daily basis. Students learn about the impact of all types of engineering on the present and future of our world. Writing is integrated as well, as students are able to take their experiences from the lab and put that into words.
- Leestown Middle School (Fayette County) – Minority enrollment is 69 percent of the student body, and students in the pre-engineering program intentionally reflect the diversity of the school. All six teachers in the pre-engineering program collaborate with their colleagues in their grade level as well as subject area. The pre-engineering teachers are leading the rest of the faculty with interdisciplinary planning based on their success. Although pre-engineering students have opportunities specifically related to the program, they are integrated as much as possible among the rest of the school in exploratory classes, field trips, school-wide initiatives, after-school activities and athletics.
- Bath County High School – In a small school, it is easy for the engineering technology program to collaborate with teachers across the curriculum. From designing items to be fabricated on the CNC milling machine to creating items with a 3D printer and even working with students and teachers to create instructional videos, Bath County High’s program is a vital part of the curriculum and the community. The program also serves as a gateway for developing leaders within the school through its participation in the Technology Student Association.
All of the award winners will be recognized in March at the ITEEA conference in Kansas City, Mo.