Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) today announced the year two grand prize winners and year three regional winners in the Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge. The competition encouraged K-12 teachers who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources to share their approaches for a chance to win a school science lab makeover support package.
"The science resources provide students access to lab equipment to support their inquisitive interests. Encouraging students to ask questions, explore, construct, test and interpret observations are important skills that may lead to them pursuing science disciplines," said Dr. Frazier Wilson, Vice President Shell Oil Company Foundation and Director, Workforce Development Diversity Outreach. "The Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge equips school labs with equipment to increase quality educational outcomes, especially for science teachers who create innovative experiences for students despite limited lab environments."
To enter the Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge, K-12 science teachers located in select school districts near Shell assets were asked to describe their school’s current laboratory resources, explain why laboratory upgrade support is needed, and describe their approach to science education instruction utilizing their school’s current lab facilities. A panel of science educators then reviewed and selected the top entries.
"These talented science educators are an inspiration to us all," said Beth Allan, NSTA President. "We join Shell in congratulating the winners on their ingenuity, resourcefulness, and dedication to their students and quality science teaching."
Year 2 Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge Grand Prize Winners
Elementary School Level: Brooke Love and Jodie McPherson, Chickasaw Elementary School, Chickasaw, Alabama
Brooke Love and Jodie McPherson believe in an integrated curriculum that connects science with other areas of instruction. They work to equip their students with strong skills in critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, and technology literacy. In the past, Love and McPherson’s students struggled with collaboration, motivation, and critical thinking. Thanks to the support and new lab resources the teachers have received through the competition so far, their students enjoy coming to the lab more. The students are engaged and excited to experience new investigations and challenges.
Middle School Level: Chelsea Clement, Lutcher High School, Lutcher, Louisiana
Chelsea Clement’s view of education is deeply rooted in integrated, inquiry-based learning. This innovation enhances the inquiry-based technique by introducing the why, how, and what through entrepreneurship and technology. Her students must take the approach of designing their projects and deciding if the product completes the task by questioning their results. This system of teaching presents an opportunity to maximize student and teacher growth in an evolving society. The lab upgrade has enabled Clement’s students to completely engross themselves into the innovation age by creating a multi-level collaborative environment with space and materials to design creative products related to issues the world faces today. The upgrade has allowed for bi-level tabling to giving her students the opportunity to compose, question, and design in a multi-faceted area.
High School Level: Pamela Baker, Alma Bryant High School, Irvington, Alabama
Pamela Baker believes that every student can learn and that all students learn at their own pace in their own way. She uses differentiated teaching and learning styles to meet the needs of all her students. The biology lab has some old dissecting equipment and 20 microscopes, many of which are broken. It is Baker’s goal to grow her school’s Coastal Environmental Science program and introduce more students to careers in marine and environmental science, with an up-to-date lab including a saltwater aquarium. This aquarium is being used throughout the year, to learn about water quality and chemistry, as well as the living organisms within the system. Some of the major purchases Baker made for her classroom were saltwater fish tank kits and raised garden beds. Baker has been able to incorporate these, along with her school's aquaculture greenhouse, into a living laboratory for her students. Now, when they learn about the nitrogen cycle, her students are able to test the water from the crawfish tanks that have plants growing in them and from the tanks that do not have plants growing in them and compare the levels of nitrogen.
In addition to the school science lab makeover support package—valued at $10,000 (for the elementary and middle level winners) and $15,000 (for the high school level winner)—each grand prize winning teacher will receive an additional $5,000 of support to attend a future NSTA National Conference on Science Education, where they will be honored at a Shell reception and Teachers Awards Gala, taking place during the conference.
Year 3 Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge Regional Winners
- Anne Marie Wotkyns, Kittridge School for Advanced Studies, Van Nuys, California (elementary school level)
- Brendan Leyden, Andrew Carnegie Middle School, Carson, California (middle school level)
- Fariba Vatandoust, Academies of Education and Empowerment at Carson High School, Carson, California (high school level)
- Rachel Louque, Cypress Grove Montessori Academy, Lutcher, Louisiana (elementary school level)
- Angela Edwards, Doyle Jr. High School, Livingston, Louisiana (middle school level)
- D’Ann Pinero, Lutcher High School, Lutcher, Louisiana (high school level)
- Jennifer Coughran, San Jacinto Elementary School, Deer Park, Texas (elementary school level)
- Jayme Richey, Deepwater Junior High School, Pasadena, Texas (middle school level)
- Arbia Khalil, Deer Park High School South Campus, Deer Park, Texas (high school level)
- Margaret Rodrigue, Wildwood Elementary School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (elementary school level)
- Jennifer Jones, Bullion Primary School, Prairieville, Louisiana (elementary school level)
- Jessica Wilson, St. Amant High School, St. Amant, Louisiana (high school level)
- Ritu Gandhi, Morales Elementary School, Houston, Texas (elementary school level)
- Kristi Hilton, Sweeny Junior High School, Sweeny, Texas (middle school level)
- Khushbu Patel, Sharpstown International High School, Houston, Texas (high school level)
- Kara Murrow, Greathouse Elementary School, Midland, Texas, (elementary school level)
- Danni Jenkins-Baker, Scharbauer Elementary School, Midland, Texas (middle school level)
- Erica Reagan, Midland High School, Midland, Texas (high school level)
- Mandi Smith, Sun Terrace Elementary School, Concord, California (elementary school level)
- Shauna Hawes, Valley View Middle School, Pleasant Hill, California (middle school level)
- Dylan Bland, College Park High School, Pleasant Hill, California (high school level)
- Samantha Laubenthal, Robert E. Lee Elementary School, Satsuma, Alabama (elementary school level)
- Ramona Savell, Clark Shaw Magnet School, Mobile, Alabama (middle school level)
- Jamie Bosarge, Alma Bryant High School, Irvington, Alabama (high school level)
- Karen Medved, Riverside Elementary School, Riverside, Pennsylvania (elementary school level)
- Anthony Martella, New Brighton Middle School, New Brighton, Pennsylvania (middle school level)
- Michael Benedum, Rochester High School, Rochester, Pennsylvania (high school level)
- Madaline Mandon, KIPP Central City Primary School, New Orleans, Louisiana (elementary school level)
- Brandy Thomas, Einstein Charter Middle School at Sarah Towles Reed, New Orleans, Louisiana (middle school level)
- Carmen Mack, Morris Jeff Community School, New Orleans, Louisiana (high school level)
- Jennifer Green, R.K. Smith Middle School, Luling, Louisiana (middle school level)
- Julie Rexford, Harry Hurst Middle School, Destrehan, Louisiana (middle school level)
- Tyler Dufrene, Hahnville High School, Boutte, Louisiana (high school level)
- Nakia Williams, Lukeville Elementary School, Brusly, Louisiana (elementary school level)
- Samantha Mendenhall, Port Allen Middle School, Port Allen, Louisiana (middle school level)
- Brittany Nelson, Port Allen High School, Port Allen, Louisiana (high school level)
- Sue Malone, Clear Lake Elementary School, Clear Lake, Washington (elementary school level)
- Ronald Haywood, Conway School, Mt. Vernon, Washington (middle school level)
- Carly Boyd, State Street High School, Sedro-Woolley, Washington (high school level)
The regional winners each received a school science lab makeover support package valued at $10,000 (for the elementary and middle levels) and $15,000 (for the high school level). The winning teachers now advance to the national phase of the competition, where they will have a chance to win an additional $5,000 of support to attend a future NSTA National Conference on Science Education, where they will be honored at a Shell reception and Teachers Awards Gala.
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teaching Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence in science teaching and learning, preschool through college. NSTA’s membership includes approximately 40,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business representatives, and others involved in science education.
About Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with operations in more than 70 countries. In the U.S., Shell operates in 50 states and employs more than 20,000 people working to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future.
FOR INQUIRIES CONTACT: Shell Oil Company Media Line 832-33-SHELL
Kate Falk, NSTA