Bale GT Specialist Named STEM Champion

Creativity and energy that’s what  Little Rock School District Gifted and Talented Specialist Jennifer Thomas brings to the classroom when inspiring her students at Bale Elementary to appreciate STEM education; and for her efforts she was recently recognized as the recipient of the 2014 ISEA STEM Champion Award.
 
This award honors public and private elementary, middle, high school teachers who have served as champions for integrated science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in their school and/or community. The STEM-Champion Award serves as a standard of excellence for individuals who promote integrating STEM with other core subject areas. Each year, the International STEM Education Association seeks out individuals who have implemented STEM programs, provided professional development, encouraged others, and have been instrumental in supporting integrated STEM education.
 
Thomas, who serves students grades K-5, worked to convert a classroom at her school into a STEM lab where she taught STEM lessons. She has also collaborated with other educational professionals to secure grants to help fund STEM-focused curriculum at Bale. In addition, she created lessons for Bale’s afterschool program and delivered professional development about STEM to her colleagues.
 
To be named a STEM-Champion Award recipient is to join an elite group of educational innovators. All recipients of this award share an important quality - they have taken direct action to champion STEM education that impacts all students in the classroom.
 


The STEM-Champion Awards are presented annually at the International STEM Education Association Conference. Thomas was honored with this award on October 13, 2014, at the conference held in Branson, Missouri. She and her principal, Dr. Ericka O’Neal McCarroll were also presenters, using the theme, Infusing STEM with Gifted and Talented – ‘A Creative Combustion.’