Jillian Worssam, the first STEM City Teacher of the Year, and professional science educator at Sinagua Middle School, had a big day on Friday, October 23rd, with her "Scientists in the Classroom" program. Initiated by Jillian several years ago, this program now includes 19 community STEM partners (link here for a list of all classroom STEM partners) that are paired with Jillian's and other science educators classes at Sinagua Middle School. On Friday, TGen North, Nestlé Purina, Mountain Heart and Lowell Observatory each had representatives visiting one of Jillian's 8th grade classes.
Scientists in the Classroom consists of two separate initiatives. The monthly classroom mentor program, and a one-on-one scientist-with-student mentoring program for Honors Classes. You can read more about both at the program website and in this Arizona Daily Sun article by Corina Vanek here.
Ande Burke, the Marketing Director for Mountain Heart, has the distinction of being the very first classroom mentor for the Scientists in the Classroom program!
The one-on-one program where a scientist is paired with Honors student includes Jeff Hall, the Director of Lowell Observatory, who visited Jillian's class to present the latest in space to the entire class. Rory Hack, his mentee, will become the classroom expert on Dr. Hall's research. Scientists in this program are not all local; there are 60 partners total, and some are from as far away as Russia and Scandinavia, New Zealand, and the Antarctic bases! Scientists and students share two e-mails per month as students learn more about the scientist and their research and produce podcasts, videos, papers and more.
Flagstaff STEM Coordinator