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North High Teacher receives National STEM Educator Award

Published: Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 2:07 p.m. CDT

DOWNERS GROVE – The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) selected North High School science teacher Jeff Grant to receive the 2014 PASCO STEM Educator Award for his exemplary science teaching skills, according to School District 99.

The PASCO STEM Educator award recognizes excellence and innovation in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Grant is one of five winners nationwide, and one of two high school teacher recipients. He was selected in part based on his implementation of an innovative “inquiry-based, technology-infused” STEM program for students, according to a press release.

Specifically, one of the projects Grant has been working on has been in partnership with the Morton Arboretum to record the DNA sequence of oak trees in their laboratory and preparing samples of sedges for students to analyze. Students worked with data from the sedges to make connections to the geographical distribution and DNA sequences of various species. These connections allowed them to develop novel scientific questions and intriguing research pathways, according to a press release.

“Whether it’s his work with the Morton Arboretum or any of the other science lessons he creates, Jeff always makes a positive impact on student learning and we’re proud of him for being recognized,” said North High Science Department Chair Mike Heinz. “His passion for science is contagious, and our students benefit so much from his leadership.”

As part of his award, Grant will receive funding to attend the NSTA national conference in Boston in the spring, where he will be honored and also be part of a STEM share-a-thon workshop. He will also receive a monetary gift and scientific products for his classroom.

For more information about the NTSA, visit www.ntsa.org.

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