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|Sea Research Foundation Announces Educator of the Year|
MYSTIC, Conn. – Sea Research Foundation, Inc. has named the eight-teacher team at Roosevelt Middle School and S.T.E.M. Academy in New Britain Educators of the Year. The team was honored during Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration’s annual Educators Open House on October 8.
The Educator of the Year is selected from a group of teachers nominated by the aquarium’s education department.
“Educator of the Year award winners are individuals who have gone above and beyond to inspire their students to learn about our marine world,” said Kelly Matis, vice president of education and public conservation programs at Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration. “They are enthusiastic and dedicated to the field, their students and their partnerships with Sea Research. The team at Roosevelt Middle School and the S.T.E.M. Academy is just that, having taken a unique, multidisciplinary approach to Sea Research’s Immersion Learning program that has shown incredible results.”
Immersion Learning is a multimedia, hands-on science education program that provides schools and informal learning organizations with the opportunity to host interactive science experiences for students in grades 4 through 8. Live webcasts from famed oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard’s scientific expeditions, hands-on activities and Internet resources are all part of the themed curricula that brings ocean adventures and discoveries into classrooms.
During the last academic year, the team of teachers at Roosevelt Middle School and the S.T.E.M. Academy in New Britain – the only city in Connecticut implementing Immersion on a district-wide scale – came together to implement three Immersion Learning curricula across all subjects. As a supplementary activity, a group of teachers and students participated in the Immersion “Ocean Exploration” remotely operated vehicle challenge, in which they built and tested an ROV at the aquarium during a live webcast watched by students across North America.
The team aligned the programs to their state standards and conducted pre- and post-program assessments to measure students’ comprehension, retention and interest levels. After only one week of implementing an Immersion program curriculum among 6th through 8th graders, assessments revealed a significant increase in students’ attention levels, scientific knowledge, language arts skills and interest in careers in science and engineering.
“This amazing team is addressing one of the most important questions of our time: how do we prepare students for the science- and technology-based careers of the future?” said Katie Cubina, vice president of Immersion Learning. “Their creativity and collaboration in integrating Immersion across disciplines serves as a model for other education institutions and should be recognized.”
The teacher team was awarded an engraved statue, as well as free aquarium admission and a free educational program for one of their classes.
About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.
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