GLOBE Teachers Receive Presidential Honors

The fact that GLOBE teachers are standouts is evident - so often they pop up as recipients of awards. Again this year, a number of GLOBE teachers received the highly prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

GLOBE-trained awardees included: Judy Reeves (Baldwin County High School, AL), Kathy Prophet (Helen Tyson Middle School, Springdale, AR), Kathleen Wilhite (Frontier Trail Jr. High School, Olathe, KS), Debbie Michael (East Lincoln High School, Lincolnton, NC), Romona Lundberg (Deuel High School, Clear Lake, SD), Kristi Rennenbohm Franz (Sunnyside Elementary School, Pullman, WA), and Jane Haugen (Elementary Science Teacher at Kennedy Elementary School, Dubuque, IA).

The award, established in 1983, is indeed a high honor: just 203 teachers were selected from among two million teachers eligible in the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, US territories and Department of Defense schools. Recipients receive a $7,500 grant to benefit their schools and a trip to Washington to accept the award.

"I am proud to recognize the contributions these outstanding teachers are making across our country," President George W. Bush said. "Quality education is a cornerstone of America's future and my Administration, and the knowledge-based workplace of the 21st century requires that our students excel at the highest levels in math and science."

"The talent and motivation it takes to cultivate young minds deserve recognition," said Dr. Rita Colwell, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), which administers the awards. "We honor those mathematics and science teachers who bring innovation into the classroom and spark the desire to learn in our children - our future leaders. The dedication to excellence of these teachers should inspire us all. "

The winning teachers most active in GLOBE gave the program credit for helping them structure their curriculum in a way that excites their students and helps them learn.

"GLOBE is all hands-on and kids like hands-on activities," said Debbie Michael, who teaches 9th through 12th graders at East Lincoln High School in Denver, NC. "All the activities in the GLOBE notebook are very, very helpful. I try to use as many as I can work into my projects."

In fact, Michaels' is among GLOBE's top reporting schools, and her students have been chosen to help GLOBE test photometers, which measure atmospheric haze.

Kristi Rennebohn Franz, a GLOBE teacher and award winner who instructs much younger students, said GLOBE protocols help round out her first- and second-graders' environmental science research.

Her students, who are in her combined-age classroom, have been conducting extensive observations and measurements of a municipal park pond. Because Franz's students are in her class for two years, they have the benefit of seeing long-term trends in their studies. Their report of their data and observations about the decline of the pond's ecosystem and its bird population led the city of Pullman to devote money and energy to restoring the pond.

"The water temperature and pH have been a neat part of doing our pond habitat study because it's great to have these first- and second-graders understand that there are mathematical, scientific protocols for monitoring the environment," Franz said. "And that the data can then be analyzed out into the future."

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03 April 2001


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