Kareen Borders, a National Board Certified science teacher at Key Peninsula Middle School, has received a PBS Innovation Award.

The award was created in partnership with the President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate Campaign” to promote innovation in the classroom.

“[PBS] wants to support innovative educators by providing kids with the skills and tools they need to succeed and we think they best way to do this is with media,” said Rob Lippincott, senior vice president of education for PBS. “We want to find out how teachers are using media and what they think is innovative. We’ve seen in many areas that technology infuses an area and engages students in many new ways. ”

Borders creates original videos in her classroom and places emphasis on space science. As a NASA Explorer School, KPMS science students have been participating in rocketry, design experiments, and also speak with the astronauts as they work at the space station.

“My students use computer simulations to study concepts like rocketry,” Borders said. “They can use simulations to change the shapes and environments of different variables in aerospace technology. It’s a way for them to extend their inquiry to things they can’t control in the classroom.”

More than reading about science, the students are engaged in hands-on science, Borders said.

“Kids naturally have that inclination to learn and I just foster that,” she said.
Preparing students for the future includes allowing them to think outside the box, she said. It is what the future employers will be looking for when hiring future employees, she said.

Borders is one of National Board Certified Teachers featured in the video, National Board Certified Teachers: Excellence, Leadership, Results. The 10-minute presentation, produced by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, delivers real-life, classroom-focused examples of NBCTs making a difference in students’ lives.

Tricia Fuglestad, an elementary school art teacher from Arlington Heights, Ill. also received the award from PBS. She and Borders were among the top 10 in the country chosen of the 700 entries submitted.

Borders and Fuglestad will have the opportunity to share their best practices in a peer-to-peer network, and will receive instructional technology resources.

Source: National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

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