Islands High School Science teacher Megan Heberle has been named one of the best in the nation. On Monday, the recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) were announced and Ms. Heberle was one of two teachers recognized from the state of Georgia.
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching.
Awardees are selected from schools in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States territories which includes American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands. Nominations and awards are facilitated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
A panel of distinguished mathematicians, scientists, and educators at the State and National levels assess the applications before recommending nominees to OSTP. Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. The award recognizes those teachers who have both deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas.
Megan Heberle has taught science and coordinated the scientific research program at Islands High School for six years. She currently teaches Scientific Research and Zoology to 9th-12th grade students. Megan works to incorporate hands-on research projects at all four levels into the Scientific Research curriculum. Students design and carry out their own research projects, learn how to statistically analyze and graph their findings, then present their work at their annual symposium.
“This award acknowledges how crucial it is for students to gain research knowledge and experience in anticipation of college and careers," said Ms. Heberle. “Receiving this award will empower me to shine a light on the achievements students are capable of when challenged to explore the world and learn through inquiry. In doing so, I hope to inspire other teachers to engage students through research and science as well. I am honored to represent my school and district for their commitment to student learning."
Each Presidential Awardee receives a certificate signed by the President of the United States and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. Awardees are honored at an award ceremony which takes place in Washington, D.C. Additional events may include professional development opportunities and discussions with policy makers on how to improve science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science education.