DOWNERS GROVE – The Downers Grove Elementary Education Association recognized O'Neill Middle School science teacher Meg Van Dyke as 2013 Teacher of the Year.
Van Dyke, who has a doctorate in educational technology, was praised for her dedication, passion and commitment to science education and inspiring her students, according to the school district.
She has written numerous grants to purchase items for her department, formed student groups to participate in STEM-related competitions and challenges, and organizes an Energy Day at the school each fall and a Chemistry Day each spring.
She also sponsors the student council, and even had her head shaved at the St. Baldrick’s event at Downers Grove South in March to reward them for surpassing their fundraising goal for the organization.
“I love instilling a love of science in young people, whether that is in my classroom, working with my engineering students, or with my Energy Kids who teach fourth-graders about types of energy and energy conservation,” Van Dyke said in the district newsletter.
Van Dyke said she loves seeing the surprise and excitement when unexpected things happen during laboratory sessions or special events – such as blowing things up, or lighting students’ hands on fire during Chemistry Day – and laughing with her students every single day.