LINCOLNTON, N.C.––Kathy Bosiak has done it again.
The Lincolnton High School science teacher recently added another feather to an already crowded cap. An award-winning teacher, Bosiak was named last week as a district winner in the Shell Science Lab Challenge, a competition for middle and high school science teachers. The competition is sponsored by the Shell Oil Company and administered by the National Science Teachers Association.
The competition encourages teachers of grades six through 12, who’ve found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources, to share their approaches for a chance to win a $20,000 school science lab makeover. Bosiak is one of 18 district winners named, from which five national finalists will be chosen, and from the national finalists a grand prize winner will be selected.
Bosiak’s best teaching strategies are immersion in real-world, relevant topics. She says anyone can learn by participating in hands-on activities, particularly through project-based learning projects. Currently, her advanced-placement environmental science students complete college board-required activities using materials that would be equivalent to middle school science, simply because the school is not equipped. Bosiak finds ways around these handicaps to make sure that the content is complete, relevant and adheres to standards set by the state and college boards.
The level of proficiency with testing, equipment use, lab design and overall confidence in comprehension of the workings of a lab would grow exponentially with better equipment, according to Dr. Frazier Wilson, director of the Shell Work Force Development and Diversity Outreach, and Dr. David Evans, the executive director of the National Science Teachers Association.
“We are extremely proud of this year’s district winners,” said Wilson. “Their innovative approaches, creative ideas and unwavering commitment to give their very best to their students—and to the community, as they engage and motivate the STEM leaders of tomorrow—are commendable and inspiring.”
“These district winners and trailblazing teachers are taking action to create innovative ways to provide high-quality lab experiences for their students,” said Evans. “Their unique ideas and creative approaches to teaching science produce new awareness and ways for us all to bring about positive change in education.”
To enter the Shell Science Lab Challenge, science teachers of grades 6-12 in America and Canada were asked to describe their schools’ current laboratory resources, explain why the facilities might be classified as “limited” resources and describe their approach to science education instruction utilizing their schools’ current lab facilities. A panel of science educators then reviewed and selected the top entries.
Winners each received a $3,000 science lab package, including grants to purchase lab equipment, gift certificates and more.
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