At a special recognition dinner, the Ohio STEM Learning Network publicly unveiled the winners of the 2023 STEM Excellence Awards. These four awards honored educators and advocates who went above and beyond in their dedication to inspiring the next generation of innovators through STEM education.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 11, 2023)–Today, the Ohio STEM Learning Network unveiled the four winners of the “STEM Excellence Awards.” These awards recognize outstanding teachers, school leaders, or education advocates who advance quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in Ohio. The awardees were unveiled as part of the inaugural Ohio STEM Innovation Summit, the state’s first statewide summit for STEM education.
Battelle manages the Ohio STEM Learning Network as a public-private partnership with the State of Ohio as part of the company’s commitment to preparing the next generation of innovators.
“Quality STEM education in our state will foster the next generation of Ohio innovators,” said Kelly Gaier Evans, Director of the Ohio STEM Learning Network for Battelle. “Each of the individuals and organizations honored tonight have gone above and beyond in their dedication toward creating pathways to success for students.”
This year, the Ohio STEM Learning Network awarded the following:
Excellence in STEM Teaching Award
The Excellence in STEM Teaching Award recognizes a teacher who exemplifies integrated, STEM-infused teaching strategies and classroom innovation, and whose work has led to positive student learning outcomes. This awardee engages students in inquiry-based learning to develop creativity, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills.
Mary Beth Schram is a fourth grade teacher at Incarnate Word Academy in Parma Heights, Ohio.
Schram goes above and beyond to create meaningful and authentic learning experiences for her students. She brought Lemonade Day, an experiential entrepreneurship learning experience, to Incarnate Word with the help of the Young Entrepreneur Institute. Schram is a member of her school’s STEAM leadership team and actively seeks to improve her knowledge. She not only brings her expertise with inquiry-based learning to her own classroom, but also leads professional development sessions for her colleagues. In the words of one colleague: “Walk into her classroom and you immediately have the sense that every student is a scientist.”
Excellence in STEM Leadership Award
The Excellence in STEM Leadership Award recognizes a school-level, district, or regional leader with a proven track-record of developing effective STEM programs. This awardee supports and encourages teachers and schools to continually infuse STEM teaching strategies and embrace classroom innovation.
India Wilson is Principal of STEM Middle @ Baldwin Road Junior High in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
Wilson creates an environment at her school where every student can see themselves as a leader in STEM. This commitment to opening doors to STEM begins in 5th grade with a special ceremony where every student is issued a lab coat and STEM pin. In the community, students visit businesses and complete programs including Amazon Web Services Girls’ Tech Day at COSI, The Ohio Operating Engineers’ “She Dig” event, BizTown, Junior Achievement, Girls in Science Symposium at Capital University, and the Roto Group, LLC a nationally known global design firm. Under Wilson’s leadership, STEM Middle @ Baldwin Road also organizes also organizes a STEM Career Fair, STEMagine Me, STEM Café, and Makers’ Market. According to Wilson’s colleagues: “Everything, no matter the content area, is done through a STEM lens incorporating the design cycle.”
Excellence in STEM Partnership Award
The Excellence in STEM Partnership Award recognizes an established partnership that prioritizes a commitment to STEM education. Partners may include industry, higher education, community partner, or a partnership within the arts.
This year, the Ohio STEM Learning Network honors the partnership between The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF®) STEM High School in Akron, Ohio
Goodyear provides expertise to teachers to ground problem-based learning in real-world challenges. Recently, the company helped the school build a new challenge where students designed and tested tires for robotic rovers exploring Mars. Employees serve as an authentic audience for students’ presentations. Goodyear also invests in the school by providing, in-classroom engagements and scholarships, as well as learning events for teachers. NIHF® STEM HS also contributes back to Goodyear. The school is educating the future STEM workforce in relevant industry-based problems and building deep connections within Akron to students, teachers and parents.
Outstanding Service Award
The Ohio STEM Learning Network has created a new award to honor one individual each year who goes above and beyond their role to advance access to quality STEM education for all Ohio students.
Dr. Robin Fisher is Superintendent of the Dayton Regional STEM School.
Fisher was a founding member of staff for the Dayton Regional STEM School. Formerly a microbiologist, she served the school as counselor, co-principal, and now superintendent. She models a culture of STEM learning by empowering students and teachers to innovate and take risks. Under her direction, the STEM Foundations program three courses into six-course series integrating STEM culture, computer science, and engineering experiences for all middle school students.
Outside her school, Fisher has advanced STEM throughout the Dayton region and the State of Ohio. Fisher was key contributor to the development of Ohio’s Quality Model for STEM and STEAM Schools and the STEM school designation/re-designation process. She has tirelessly advocated for equitable funding for STEM schools at the state level.
About the Ohio STEM Learning Network
The Ohio STEM Learning Network is committed to helping the State of Ohio inspire and train the next generation of innovative leaders. The network operates as a public-private partnership between the State of Ohio and Battelle.
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.