Pella — McGraw-Hill Education announced last week the winners of the Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Innovative Educator Awards (STEMIEs), a competition that honors innovative educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Lance Schwartz, an eighth grade technology teacher from Selinsgrove, Pa., has been named the first-prize winner. Tricia Fuglestad, a fifth grade technology teacher from Arlington Heights, Ill., and Jim Emmert, a high school technology teacher from Pella, Iowa, were awarded second and third place prizes.
"The STEMIE grants are grants given by the McGraw-Hill Foundation to schools who have developed programs emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math," Emmert told The Chronicle. "Nationally, there were 158 grant proposals submitted and those were edited to the top 30. Our proposal, the Pella Exploring Near Space program, came in third place, which awards $2,500 towards the Pella Exploring Near Space (PENS) program. This grant will keep us flying for at least two years and the involved school children from Pella Community, Pella Christian, and PEACE Home School will be the benefactors of this grant."
Teachers entered the contest by submitting a short video that demonstrates innovative teaching methods in their STEM classrooms. Thirty finalists were selected by teachers and a panel of guest judges, and were uploaded to the STEMIE site to encourage teachers to review, share and vote on other lessons. In total, over 22,000 votes were cast for extraordinary teachers from all across the country.
“It’s inspiring to see our country’s great teachers in action, and we’re delighted to be able to give this award to such a dynamic and captivating teacher,” said Lisa O’Masta, vice president of STEM, McGraw-Hill School Education.