A fourth grade teacher at a small, rural school in Harrison County, MS, will play a big role in promoting STEM education in schools across the country, especially in classrooms with limited resources and funding.
Sandra Kellermann of Lyman Elementary School will fly to California next week to participate in brainstorming sessions at the National Science Conference. Kellermann was one of seven teachers in the United States selected in August to serve on the 2017 National STEM Steering Committee. She was the only teacher chosen from Mississippi. The members were appointed based on their active involvement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, including classroom teaching and social media forums. Kellermann was selected from a long list of National Science Teachers Association members from public, private, urban and rural schools, like Lyman.
“I am very excited about this opportunity and pleased to represent Lyman Elementary, the Harrison County School District, and the state of Mississippi on a national level!” said Kellermann. “I feel that the association appreciated my perspective as a Title I teacher in a rural public school. These students are seen as an underserved population.”
In the invitation letter to Kellermann, NSTA Executive Delores Howard wrote: “Lyman Elementary is leading some great initiatives with math and science education, and we are confident that you would bring a unique perspective to this project.”
As a member of the STEM Steering Committee, Kellermann will also help make key decisions for the 6th Annual STEM Forum & Expo that will be held in Kissimmee, Florida, July 12-14, 2017. She will assist in the development of the STEM Forum agenda, identify keynote speakers, and suggest ideas for promotion and marketing efforts.
“Attending the National Science Conference in California will allow me to learn from the leaders in science and STEM education. I will get to seek out fantastic STEM educators in hopes of bringing their ideas and programs to the Forum, and we can immediately try these STEM, science and literacy lessons in our own classrooms and schools. The materials, ideas and activities that I leave with will be hand-selected as the best of the best practices found in classrooms across the country and around the world!”
“At the Forum, I will be taking more top STEM ideas back into my classroom at Lyman Elementary. I am hoping to share these ideas and best practices with co-workers and teaching peers at my school,” she added.
Kellermann, who is in her 18th year of teaching, believes introducing these new STEM ideas to students will change the way they absorb their lessons.
“These kids love ‘doing stuff!’ They yearn for opportunities to deconstruct, build, reconstruct, and make something from their ideas while collaborating with others. They long to take ownership of what they have created and figured out. Isn’t that what our students’ futures will require them to do? Even better is when these kids realize that they learned something in the process. That’s priceless. That is what coming to school each day is about. That is what teaching is about. That’s STEM!”
Kellermann will serve two years on the STEM Steering Committee.