The Tech Council of Maryland (TCM) will continue its tradition of honoring the best and brightest in STEM educators at its annual Industry Awards Celebration at the Bethesda North Marriott on May 15, 2014.
The STEM Educator of the Year Award recognizes Maryland educators who are furthering excellence in their classroom while exciting K-12 students about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). “This award celebrates the educators who inspire students to pursue STEM careers. These students will go on to meet the challenges of STEM careers and ultimately, fill the workforce pipeline,” says Ms. Michelle Ferrone, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Operations for TCM.
Previous winners, Dr. Suzanne Dashiell from Urbana High School, and Ms. Ann Strozyk of the Howard County Conservancy, concur with Ms. Ferrone saying that the award is a great way to connect industry with educators and promote not only STEM education but the plethora of STEM careers in the state of Maryland. “I am not just thankful for the award,” said Dr. Dashiell, “But for the opportunity to show how important it is for these corporations to reach out to our students.”
Dr. Dashiell was originally a researcher at the National Institutes of Health when she was approached to join a fellowship program, which recruited STEM professionals to become Frederick County science teachers. She has used her own professional experiences to create a multidisciplinary approach to teaching the applications of biology. At Urbana, she has founded their Science Academic Team, advised their chapter in the National Honors Society, and planned numerous field trips outside of the classroom to places like the ANOVA Hospital’s heart surgery center.
Ms. Strozyk facilitates educational, environmental programs for secondary students in the Howard County Public School System at the Howard County Conservancy. With a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Environmental Science, Ms. Strozyk writes and implements interactive experiences that are constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of our future workforce. She works directly with the Howard County Board of Education to ensure that her student’s experiences not only meet the new educational standards but also have meaning outside of the conservancy and inside the teacher’s classroom. “I was shocked to win” said Ms. Strozyk, “[The award] recognizes all of the team work that went into the program. It was truly a team effort.”
While they may have completely different backgrounds, Dr. Dashiell and Ms. Strozyk have something in common; a desire to continually improve their craft to meet their student’s needs. In addition to visiting the SciTech laboratory in Baltimore and writing recommendations for her students to participate in internships with the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Dashiell runs a STEM camp for elementary school students during the summer. Ms. Strozyk is currently planning a Bioblitz for 1,000 students in September at the historic Belmont Manor.
TCM will honor five nominees and one award winner at this year’s Industry Awards Celebration. To nominate a qualifying teacher, contact Ms. Wendy Dudrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.