SHERIDAN — The 2014-15 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Educators of the Year were honored at the 2015 Roadmap to STEM Conference in Sheridan on Aug. 3.
More than 20 nominations for Wyoming STEM educators were submitted and reviewed by a selection committee at the Wyoming Department of Education.
Guy Jackson, supervisor of the WDE Career Technical Education Section, says the WDE recognizes exemplary STEM educators from elementary, secondary and postsecondary levels of education each year.
“These educators have a passion for STEM that is passed on to their students, and students well versed in STEM are essential to the economic and workforce development of our state,” Jackson said. “The Department is privileged to honor these educators and thank them for preparing Wyoming’s children for the future.”
Abby Mowry, teacher at Sagebrush Elementary School, was named the STEM Elementary Educator of the Year.
Addressing her students as Engineers, Mowry not only uses her passion for STEM in her fifth-grade classroom but also for an after-school program that utilizes Lego Robotics.
This “teacher’s teacher” regularly provides support as a mentor and teaches a pre-service technology integration class for Chadron State College.
“Abby has that unique ability to build really great relationships with kids, but at the same time hold them very much accountable for rigorous expectations,” says Brett Dahl, principal at Sagebrush Elementary School. “I think what college and career readiness is really looking for is critical thinkers, solution-oriented kids and kids who challenge the everyday thinking. Abby is fostering this ability to think outside of the box and that is what the workforce wants.”
Mowry says she incorporates STEM into her teaching because she wants students to succeed now and in the future.
“Our job as teachers is to get these little students prepared for ten years from now,” Mowry said. “Can they join the marketplace? We don’t even know what those jobs are going to look like, but we know there’s going to be technology, there’s going to be engineering, they’re going to have to work in groups and they’re going to have to problem-solve.
“All of those are going to be necessary skills, and I think that STEM is a great way to teach those skills,” she continued.
A video highlighting Mowry’s work can be seen online at www.thesheridanpress.com.