|Release Date: 2/8/2016|
TOWSON, MD. – Christopher McChesney, a science and engineering teacher at Pikesville Middle School, is one of three teachers nationally to be honored with a PASCO NSTA STEM Educator Award.
The annual awards, which are sponsored by PASCO® Scientific in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), honor middle and high school educators who are implementing innovative inquiry-based, technology-infused programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.
As an honoree, McChesney, a Lutherville resident, will receive up to $1,000 for travel expenses to attend the NSTA National Conference and be part of a STEM share-a-thon workshop, a $500 monetary gift, and a $5,000 certificate for PASCO products. The conference is being held in Nashville from March 31 – April 3. Winners will be formally recognized during the conference’s awards banquet.
The description of McChesney’s work on the PASCO website lauds him for employing “innovative lesson plans that use hands-on science and which incorporate cross disciplinary content" as “an ideal way to bridge gaps and enhance student engagement." NSTA notes that McChesney “has the challenge of teaching not just students of widely varying ability levels but also of widely different socioeconomic backgrounds." McChesney’s lessons include having Grade 6 students create and test homemade multicell batteries, challenging Grade 7 students to use engineering orthographic and isometric drawings to build a “skimmer," and tasking Grade 8 engineering students with designing and building the fastest air-powered dragsters.
As part of the application process, educators submitted a narrative describing how they address real-world applications or problems integrating the elements of STEM, differentiate their instruction for students of varying ability levels, incorporate sensor-based data collection and visualization technologies, and support national science education standards. They also included student examples, along with letters of support from education colleagues.
“Research shows that students learn best with inquiry-based teaching that puts real-world tools and technology into their own hands. These incredible educators have taken this to heart and are using PASCO’s science solutions in imaginative and innovative ways that help students connect STEM to the world around them," said Steven Korte, CEO of PASCO.