STEM education superstars: Meet 3 inspiring teachers honored at the GeekWire Awards

The GeekWire Awards’ STEM Educator of the Yr honorees, from still left to suitable: Devina Khan, educational designer at the West Valley Innovation Center Stephanie Winslow, instructor at South Kitsap Superior School and Johanna Brown, teacher at Pullman Significant School. (Photos courtesy of Khan, Winslow and Brown)

In a globe without having fantastic STEM instructors there would be less tech entrepreneurs and reducing-edge innovators that are honored each yr at the GeekWire Awards.

The good thing is for all of us, in faculty districts massive and modest across Washington condition, hardworking educators are inspiring a long term CEO of the Year or grooming the Next Tech Titan. And we’ve picked 3 exemplary academics to honor with our STEM Educator of the Yr group at this year’s GeekWire Awards.

These instructors aren’t just standouts in the classroom. They are also top multiple extracurricular initiatives, checking out new ways and mentoring fellow instructors. They are spearheading suites of initiatives that would be extraordinary for a corporate govt to tackle — but hold in head that they are accomplishing this work in universities crammed with passionate, outstanding, hormonal, exhausted, energetic kids. Heaps and plenty of children.

The sponsor for this award, now in its next year, is when again DreamBox Discovering. Preserve looking at to study much more about the a few honorees for STEM Educator of the 12 months.

Stephanie Winslow, instructor at South Kitsap Superior School

Stephanie Winslow, teacher at South Kitsap Substantial College. (South Kitsap Superior Photograph)

As a trainer of AP environmental science, astronomy and earth science classes, and as an advisor for STEM Club and the Link Crew leadership application, Stephanie Winslow has individually touched the lives of numerous students.

Her classroom inspires them, from her “Women in Science” poster, to viewpoint-bending M.C. Escher optical illusions, to a entire-sizing astronaut match. “The encounter plate is dark,” Winslow reported. “It could be everyone — anybody can be an astronaut!”

Her classes have interaction them, like during COVID-19 when she partnered with Puget Audio Naval Shipyard to send out kits house to make LED-primarily based electronics.

But Winslow’s reach is even wider. She is also committed to developing a lasting, sturdy STEM education program across educational institutions. She serves as the district science curriculum coordinator for secondary universities. Winslow has led initiatives to safe many grants to bolster the academic resources offered in her South Kitsap district, positioned a ferry experience from Seattle.

“Through educating our staff, advocating for improve, and protecting relevance of STEM content, she is certainly shaping the STEM opportunities district huge,” mentioned Sara Hatfield, the supervisor who nominated Winslow for the award.

Some of her other achievements involve:

  • one particular of the 1st STEM-certified vocation and specialized educators in Washington
  • the lead for the district’s Countrywide Math Science Training grant partnership
  • and securing a STEM Funds Assignments Grant that provided funding for updating classrooms.

Johanna Brown, trainer at Pullman Higher University

Johanna Brown, instructor at Pullman Higher Faculty. (Pullman Significant Image)

When Johanna Brown has brought proven, significant-achieving plans like AP chemistry and AP laptop or computer science to her Jap Washington substantial university, she’s also torn up the typical playbook for instruction.

Brown has embraced a “gradeless” classroom wherever alternatively of accumulating details, pupils show their mastery of subjects via inquiry, challenge-based mostly mastering, and explaining the science. She retains conferences with college students to speak about their education and learning and growth as folks.

Brown is training environmentally friendly, sustainable chemistry. She highlights achievements of researchers from underneath-represented groups.

“Her intention is to create areas that rejoice the humanity of college students, and support them bring their complete selves to their mastering,” reported Melissa Mayer, the colleague who nominated Brown for the award.

And Brown tends to make science fun and appropriate. Even though young children were being remote in the course of COVID, she developed home lab kits that provided baking bread and dissolving Pixy Stix to develop endothermic reactions. She provides in visitor lecturers, which includes a “poop scientist” who reports the breakdown of dairy cow squander, a Frito Lay meals scientist who described how chips get their shapes, and local undergraduate scientists employing liquid nitrogen to thoroughly clean moon dust off of spacesuits.

Some of Brown’s other achievements involve:

  • her faculty this yr gained a Feminine Range in Personal computer Science Award from the AP System for the quantity of feminine pupils enrolled in Brown’s course and the range who passed the AP test
  • 2021 finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Instructing
  • coached her Science Bowl staff to this spring’s nationwide contest remaining held in May perhaps
  • and she gained the American Chemical Society’s award for excellence in significant faculty educating for the Northwest area.

Devina Khan, personal computer science and information and facts technologies tutorial designer at the West Valley Innovation Middle

Devina Khan, educational designer at the West Valley Innovation Middle. (West Valley Innovation Middle Image)

For Devina Khan’s learners, their geographic place, age and gender are no barriers to accomplishment in computer science.

Khan is an educator in West Valley, a rural city in Central Washington’s agriculturally abundant Yakima County.

She has promoted tech schooling for middle school students, guiding them to earning Microsoft certifications in seventh grade. Three of her college students from the West Valley Innovation Centre received the Congressional App Problem this yr, producing a pandemic-motivated application known as Beating Coronary heart Health. It consists of a slumber calculator, relaxing audio and a compliment generator.

Khan has partnered with the nonprofit IGNITE (Inspiring Women Now In Technology Evolution) Around the world. The Seattle-based mostly firm assisted her connect learners with STEM gurus at Google, Pixar, Facebook, Amazon, T-Mobile, Tesla and Microsoft.

Khan has teamed up with some of her students to build and co-instruct tech education and learning classes to the broader West Valley populace.

Their tech program “promotes fairness and inclusion by providing engineering programs to underrepresented communities that lack abilities wanted to prosper in today’s workforce,” stated Caitlin Duke, the colleague who nominated Khan for the GeekWire award.

Some of Khan’s other achievements include things like:

  • working as an adjunct instructor and affiliate college member at Central Washington College
  • previous teacher at West Valley Junior Higher School in Yakima County,
  • volunteering to assist senior citizens with tech troubleshooting and education, as nicely as providing tech training for the neighborhood
  • and serving as a youth group advisor and mentor for 10-18 12 months olds in Yakima.

The GeekWire Awards recognize the top innovators and organizations in Pacific Northwest know-how. Our STEM educator honorees and other award finalists had been chosen centered on local community nominations, along with input from GeekWire Awards judges.

There is no voting in this group all 3 honorees are winners. Local community voting throughout other classes will continue until finally April 22, mixed with feed-back from judges to ascertain the winner in just about every classification. You can vote for your picks across all types in the GeekWire Awards ballot.

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A massive thanks to Astound Business Solutions, the presenting sponsor of the 2022 GeekWire Awards.

Also, thanks to gold-amount and category sponsors: Wilson Sonsini, ALLtech, JLL, DreamBox Finding out, Blink UX, BECU, Baird, Gasoline Talent, RSM, Aon, Meridian Cash, and WTIA. And many thanks to silver amount sponsors: J.P. Morgan Chase, Product+, and Tomo.

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