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| Advisory Committee | Above and Beyond Award Application |
Current Award Winners | Make a Contribut ion

2004 Above and Beyond Award Recipients

Karen Blaustein, Grade 7 Science/Engineering Teacher, Memorial Middle School, Beverly
Karen created a cooperative learning project based on the study of the major systems in the human body in which students learned the importance of sharing responsibility and working cooperatively as part of a group. Students were formed into five teams, one for each body system: respiratory, circulatory, digestive, immune and muscular-skeletal. These “expert” teams researched their body system together using worksheets and web sites, and created 15 questions with answers about their system, which were later used on a class test. Each team member was individually responsible for drawing a diagram of the group’s body system, creating a concept map, using an EBSCO database to find a recent news article about a disease related to the body system, and presenting his/her findings to students who had researched other body systems. Additionally, students created a database of diseases categorized by cause to make the information easily accessible to the entire class. After the presentations, students evaluated their peers on cooperation and contributions.

Todd Covert, Grade 6 Math and Science Teacher, Searles Middle School, Great Barrington
Todd organized a three-season field study that changed his students’ perception of science from that of dry, distant facts to engaged, personal discovery. The students’ began with a mile-and-a-half hike from the Housatonic River, which flows behind the school, to a ponded area of Lake Mansfield nestled in a Great Barrington neighborhood. In the months that followed, students investigated how seasons affect flora and fauna, transplanted native plants on the riverbank, examined a vernal pool, and talked with local naturalists and historians. They tracked water, air, and soil temperatures, observed pond samples with digital and compound microscopes, and enriched their written observations with digital documentary photographs. As a culminating project, students created PowerPoint presentations about an aspect of the watershed that was meaningful to them and shared their presentations with classmates and school administrators.

Michele Daigle, Grade 8 Science/Engineering Teacher, Central Tree Middle School, Rutland
Michele’s Antarctica Project has taken many forms over the years, but one thing has remained consistent: it has enabled students to integrate historical perspective and engineering design with the acquisition of science concepts and technology skills. Students have studied the history of Antarctica explorers while concurrently connecting with researchers stationed in Antarctica, thereby enriching their explorations into the nature of man’s connection with this untapped polar region. They have researched all aspects of the Antarctic environment on the Internet, compiling a database of resources to be used as a reference library. They have conducted cold environment adaptation experiments as well as investigated thermal energy concepts. One heat energy experiment challenges students to design and test an insulated container prototype for a team of polar researchers who will be traveling to Antarctica to collect fragile bio-specimens. The prototype container must be able to prevent the preservation substance (water with dissolved solids) from freezing. Students are supplied with specific materials and guidelines. This activity enables students to work collaboratively to achieve a common goal and to apply their knowledge of heat energy transfer in a real-world context.

MaryAnn DeMaria, Grade 7 Science/Engineering Teacher, Robert E. Melican Middle School, Northborough
One of the most exciting recent developments in the study of evolution has been the use of molecular biology to bolster the theory of a common ancestor among living things. Traditionally, students have used comparative anatomy, the fossil record, and biogeography as evidence supporting biological evolution. Maria has developed a project that would incorporate molecular biology techniques into the seventh-grade life science curriculum to allow students to investigate evolutionary relationships among organisms using all forms of evidence, including molecular analysis of proteins and DNA. Students would use the same advanced technologies that today’s research scientists are using in their own investigations. These technologies include the Universal DNA Extraction Reagent System, which enables DNA to be isolated from living organisms, and gel electrophoresis equipment, which can be used to create DNA fingerprints of fruit flies or compare banding patterns of fish proteins.

Deborah Kraver, Grade 8 Math Teacher, Gates Intermediate School, Scituate*
Deborah brought math alive for her students by having them design a dream house for an imaginary family. At the onset of this project, students received a description of their family and a budget to monitor. Using a variety of worksheets, they determined what style, size, and layout would be best for their family based on the profile and funds they had been given. Students spent days using Macintosh software to draw floor plans of their house and detailed diagrams of individual rooms, incorporating furniture and other decorative touches into their drawings. As they researched furniture options and collected carpet, paint, and wallpaper samples, students had to develop price lists, calculate costs, and track their budget.  By project’s end, they had gained hands-on experience in the use of space and scale, enriched their understanding of geometry and its applications in the real world, and learned that creativity can be part of math.

Charles Lindgren, Grade 8 Science/Engineering Teacher, Gates Intermediate School, Scituate
Charles challenged his students to write scientific proposals that would entitle them to use the 2001 Mars Odyssey Spacecraft to image actual sites on Mars through the Mars Student Imaging Project, a joint program of Arizona State University (ASU) and NASA. Students were divided into small teams. Each team used the Internet to research a topic involving the surface of Mars, formulated a scientific question, and developed a proposal for using the Mars Odyssey to gather evidence that would assist them in answering that question. Following a lengthy peer-review process, seven proposals were deemed worthy to submit to ASU. The ASU scientists accepted all seven and encouraged the teams to choose two sites on Mars that would accommodate as many of the proposals as possible. Using NASA software, the students targeted two sites on the orbital track assigned to them: a cratered area and a water feature. They uploaded their commands to the spacecraft and were rewarded with visible wavelength images of their targeted sites. These images, the students’ final reports, and other information pertaining to their thrilling odyssey are posted on the project’s web site.

Sandra Luce, Grades 6, 7, and 8 Math Teacher, Neighborhood House Charter School, Dorchester*
Sandra used a common playground object as the basis for a classroom project in which her eighth grade students recreated the childhood experience of playing on a seesaw to explore the inverse relationship between weight and distance. The students constructed a miniature seesaw using a meter stick, a wooden dowel, and a binder clip and attached large paper clips as weights. They then found a variety of weight/distance combinations to achieve perfect balance of the seesaw and represented these relationships in tables and graphs. In the final part of the project, students compared seven equations to their tabular and graphical expressions in order find matching relationships. Graphing calculators supported the exploration of algebraic concepts by making the process more visual. By using these tools, students were able to find patterns and draw conclusions more quickly and independently than they could have otherwise.

Janet Maguire, Grades 6, 7, and 8 Math Teacher, Nashoba Brooks School, Concord
Janet believes that math education could and should prepare students for the financial realities and responsibilities of adulthood. As a teacher at an all-girls school, she thinks that learning financial management is especially important for female students in light of the continuing economic gender gap. To help her students develop financial understanding, she developed a unique project that simulates the journey of a young woman who begins life on her own. Students scout the Internet for employment services and apartment listings. They calculate rent, utility, and car-ownership costs and create spreadsheets to compare various supermarket prices to outlet prices. They learn how to balance a checkbook and investigate ways to pay bills on line. They practice investing in the stock market by researching two or three growth companies and setting up on-line portfolios. They go online to find a charitable organization that they would like to support. Though they are only in the sixth grade, Janet’s students are already learning how to manage the challenging job of building a good life.

Dan Monahan, Grade 8 Science/Engineering and Math Teacher, Cambridgeport School, Cambridgeport
Dan redesigned the typical science fair project to engage all students and allow all to succeed, not just those with significant support at home. Each student designed, built, and tested a device, such as a projectile launcher, a car, a parachute dropper, a bridge, or a tower. Dan set up the design challenges and test procedures to make them feasible for everyone while allowing enough sophistication for the most motivated students. He supplied all the materials students needed for construction. And he made sure that students could complete the project at school where they had access to computers. The students used the computers to do historical research online, to document their ideas, designs, and design process, to create tables and graphs, and to analyze data. As part of their projects, students created tri-fold display boards, which were displayed at the school science fair and the citywide MIT EXPO.

Ted Purcell, Grades 7 and 8 Science/Engineering Teacher, Paxton Center School, Paxton
Ted uses the pond and woodlands that abut the Paxton School as real-world teaching tools. For the past three years, his students have tracked a variety of water quality indicators and collected data about the flora and fauna in and around the pond. They have incorporated their findings into PowerPoint presentations and a computerized field guide, using digital cameras and scanners to add visual enrichment. Ted’s vision for the future includes the acquisition of additional technology for use in ongoing pond study. But he also dreams of more – such as the development of a nature trail along the edge of the pond that would educate students about the value and delicacy of the wetland environment. An important part of this project would be the construction of a wheelchair-accessible observation deck by the pond’s edge. Students would design the observation deck using a CAD system and also help to build it. Ted uses a wheelchair as a result of a teenage spinal cord injury and uses his situation as an opportunity to teach inclusion.

Katie Shepard, Grades 7 and 8 Math Teacher, University Park Campus School, Worcester*
Katie’s students traveled back in time and became entrepreneurs of a business during the Renaissance period as part of an interdisciplinary project linking history and math. The students used research and their knowledge of the time period to decide what type of business would flourish and where it would be situated. They then developed a business proposal in which they applied their knowledge of proportion, area, percentages, and equations. Students created linear equations based on their businesses and determined cost, revenue, and profit functions. Using graphing calculators, they solved problems involving linear functions and systems of equations with the data produced from each business in the classroom. These interactive activities helped them to see that algebra is not simply a set of equations in a textbook, but an important and relevant business tool.

Jonathan Twining, Grade 7 Science/Engineering Teacher, Remington Middle School, Franklin
Jon’s “The Still and the Restless Project” refers to vernal pools, or “still” ecosystems, and streams, or “restless” ecosystems. In the fall, students study a local watershed and create model watersheds. In the spring, they investigate a local vernal pool habitat and share what they have learned through videos, PowerPoint presentations, and other projects that are integrated across the core curriculum. Students may also elect to participate on Stream Teams that meet weekly after school in fall and spring to make field measurements of water quality and collect organisms for the entire class to study. The Stream Teams use a wide range of technologies. Vernier probes measure various physical and chemical parameters. Digital photos and video footage record physical measurements. A digital microscope allows the teams to take pictures of invertebrates and measure their size. Projects like Jon’s gives students a greater understanding of current environmental issues and the role humans can play in protecting the earth in the 21st century.

*These teachers are the Ascential Software Corporation Above and Beyond Award Winners and receive a $1,500 award in addition to their $1,000 Above and Beyond Award.

2003 Above and Beyond Award Recipients

Karen Spaulding, Grade 8 Science Teacher, Morse School, Cambridge
Karen Spaulding, winner of this year’s Above and Beyond $10,000 stipend, has embarked on a journey with a team of eighth graders to determine the health of the Charles River by using both physical and biological measures. One of the aims of her project is to foster an appreciation of the environment by motivating urban students to look at the Charles as a potentially viable ecosystem, and not as a wasteland.

In the summer of 2002, Spaulding and a colleague collected data on the Charles River under the supervision of Dr. Judith Pederson, an MIT biologist. Their research included measuring temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, phosphates, and nitrates and determining the presence of larvae in the riverbed. Macroinvertebrates, an important link in the food web, differ in sensitivity to pollution, and provide key information about long-term river quality.

Now, in collaboration with her colleague, Spaulding runs an extracurricular science club at the Morse School. Its members have become proficient in using a variety of probes and testing kits to collect data about the Charles River. In addition to gathering information along the banks of the river, the students conduct controlled experiments and use the Internet to research water quality tests, to identify larvae, and to access databases.

Spaulding will use her $1,000 Above and Beyond grant to purchase additional testing equipment for use in monitoring the Charles River. With the $10,000 stipend from the Education Foundation, she will leverage her experience with the Charles River project to develop classroom materials and videotapes for dissemination to middle school teachers. The materials will include background information on the project, data collection protocols, safety and implementation suggestions, resources for teachers, and examples of student work from field journals. She would like to gear the materials toward urban schools for she believes that students who live in cities “can build science understanding and develop an appreciation for our environment by looking right in their own backyard.”

Amy Bebell, Grade 6 Science Teacher, Watertown Middle School
By incorporating handheld computers, the Internet, probes, and digital cameras into her curriculum, Amy Bebell allows students to work as scientists instead of simply learning about what scientists do from a dispassionate distance. Her sixth graders have used handheld computers to study a simulated night sky in the afternoon, to document and photograph organisms in their natural habitats, and to measure and instantly graph temperature and velocity.

Bebell has also been involved with MetroLINC, a federally funded program fostering technology integration into the classroom, for many years. As a MetroLINC district technology pioneer, she led a team of middle-school science teachers in the development of a web site documenting their experiences using technology to teach science. The site catalogs lesson plans and student work and offers guidance to other teachers and administrators who would like to implement technology in their own schools’ classrooms.

Sarah Chapin, Grade 8 Science Teacher, Hudson High School
“In the four years that Sarah Chapin has been a science teacher at Hudson High School, she has set the standard for the meaningful integration of technology into science learning,” says Ellen Schuck, director of technology. As part of her eighth grade science curriculum, Chapin uses PASCO motion sensors connected to classroom computers to introduce students to data collection and to teach the concepts of motion, direction, speed, and acceleration. Students concurrently learn about graphing and linear relations in math class, thereby building connections between math and science. Chapin has incorporated sensors into a variety of classroom projects involving the practical application of scientific and mathematical ideas. In one project, her eighth graders built marble chutes using their knowledge of slope to gain the greatest speed. In another project, they designed amusement park rides within specific parameters of speed and momentum. Students have also used sensors within the context of conducting experiments on pH levels and brine shrimp egg hatching.

Jane Crooks, Grade 6 Science Teacher, and Kim VanderSpek, Grade 6 Math Teacher, Bancroft School, Worcester
Jane Crooks and Kim VanderSpek have developed a photo-documentary final “exam” in which their students demonstrate what they have learned in math and science during the school year. The sixth graders are introduced to the project in early May. Working in groups, they develop outlines of their math and science learning, and then brainstorm ways in which they could document that learning through photographs. Next, they spend a morning in a city park and cemetery, where they take pictures of objects and scenes that relate to the sixth grade math and life science curricula, such as a swing set composed of geometric shapes, a spiral jungle gym representing DNA, or a family grave plot demonstrating exponential growth of ancestors by generation. After their photos have been developed, the student groups write captions illustrating their knowledge of science and math concepts, with an emphasis on the relationships between the two disciplines. Each group then creates a web page that includes their photographs and captions, links to related sites, and a paragraph about the team.

Therese Goulet, Grade 6 Science Teacher, Thomas Prince School, Princeton
The project Therese Goulet developed, “Species in Relief: A Three-Dimensional Biomap of the Thomas Prince School,” engages students’ interest in science by encompassing a variety of approaches tailored to different learning styles and by using the natural environment as a classroom. Goulet’s students use a geographical information system (GIS) and techniques employed by professional topographers to make relief models of their school’s property first with cardboard, and then on a larger scale with rigid foam insulation. Next, the students conduct an inventory of plants in vernal pool, wetland and stream habitats and create a 3-D biomap showing the locations of different plant species. Each student then researches one of the inventoried plants using field guides and the Internet and prepares an informational page and drawing, which Reading High School students reproduce in poster form under the direction of their biology teacher. The final posters and biomap models are displayed in the school library, at the town hall, and at the Wachusett Meadow Audubon Sanctuary, providing a valuable opportunity for students to educate the public.

Ank Meuwissen, Grades 7 and 8 Science Teacher, South Middle School, Braintree
Ank Meuwissen’s goal is to set up an interdisciplinary GIS (geographical information system) lesson plan for use by teacher teams in grades six through eight. This project, as envisioned by Meuwissen, will allow students to experience real-world applications of science and provide educators multiple possibilities for teaching the Massachusetts Learning Standards by combining computer and other hands-on activities, classroom discussions, presentations, and readings.

In the short term, an introductory lesson will expose students to the powerful capabilities of GIS software (such as ArcView or ArcVoyager). Students will learn how to manipulate an interactive atlas, while studying different maps and identifying relationships between features such as vegetation, elevation, population density, and average yearly precipitation. Using the GIS software, they will go on to create their own topographic map of the United States, which will serve as the basis for making a topographic model of the U.S. in the classroom. The Above and Beyond Award grant will enable Meuwissen to purchase the GIS software needed to implement and further develop her lesson plan

Paul Niles, Grades 6, 7, and 8 Science Teacher, Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School, Orleans
Paul Niles is co-founder and project director of the Cape Cod Youth Council on Sustainability, a youth-led organization of middle school and high school students from Cape Cod and the Islands. The Council revolves around activities that give students a deeper understanding of the complex environmental issues their communities face and opportunities to make a difference. Students at participating schools have been learning about sustainability and working on environmental projects relevant to the Cape and Islands.

Technology has been widely used in the Council’s programs. This past fall, a group of Council members participated in the United Nations Youth Summit on Human Rights and Sustainable Development, an international online videoconference. And last year, with a grant from the Cape Cod Economic Development Council, the club converted a renewable energy trailer into an interactive educational tool, outfitting the vehicle with improved technology (including data loggers and solar hot water exchange flow meters) and an interpretive package. The trailer, which demonstrates solar thermal, wind, and photovoltaic energy, now routinely visits schools on Cape Cod and beyond. Niles says that the Above and Beyond grant will be used in part to develop a web site to promote Youth Council activities and to facilitate the sharing of information and ideas.

Natalie Petrillo, Grade 7 Math Teacher, Austin Preparatory School, Reading
Natalie Petrillo, a first-year teacher who previously worked in the high tech field, brings a unique perspective to the classroom. She knows first hand that to succeed in future studies and the workplace, students will need to be technically competent and able to work well in teams. One of her goals is to have all of her seventh grade students master a specific set of technology skills by the end of the school year. With the school’s technology specialist, she developed a plan for co-teaching those skills using a variety of projects.

One project Petrillo developed, called “Fast? Or Fat? Food,” required students to create a brochure informing others of a teen’s daily nutritional requirements, the average caloric and fat intake of three meals at three fast-food restaurants; and a healthy fast food alternative. The project incorporated three different technologies and addressed various learning styles. First, students learned advanced web search techniques to research fast food restaurants of their choice. Second, they put all of their data into an Excel spreadsheet and performed calculations using formulas, cell formatting, and new fonts. Finally, they learned how to create a brochure using Microsoft Word and graphics downloaded from the Web. Not only did the project meet Petrillo’s goals of merging math and technology, but students also learned the life skill of paying attention to what they eat. “Fast? Or Fat? Food” was so successful that Petrillo is planning to repeat the project next year, perhaps adding other disciplines such as English and science.

Warren Phillips, Grade 7 Science Teacher, Plymouth Community Intermediate School
The Plymouth Community Intermediate School contains a television studio previously used by Adelphia Cable Company. As an extra teaching duty, Warren Phillips oversees the production of P.C.I.S. News, a weekly television program shown to students, to the Plymouth community of approximately 60,000, and frequently to surrounding towns. Each month, Phillips invites a special guest for a televised interview with one student, followed by questions from the audience of 120 seventh graders. Many of the guests are involved in science-related occupations, and the chosen topic is integrated into the classroom curriculum. Students write the scripts for the television broadcasts, and are also involved in other aspects of production, including interviewing, graphic design, audio and camera work, and directing. A two-time recipient of the Above and Beyond Award, Phillips will use this year’s grant from the Education Foundation to help further his goal of converting his school’s 30-year-old television studio into a digital facility.

Ranjani Sriram, Grade 7 Math Teacher, Dunn Middle School, Danvers
Six years ago, Ranjani Sriram, then a second-year seventh grade math teacher, introduced a classroom “house building” project. The highly successful project has since evolved into a full-fledged interdisciplinary unit called “Planning, Constructing, and Selling a Home” that integrates math, science, social studies, language arts, and Spanish.

After learning about ratio, proportion and scale in math class, the sixth graders draw a floor plan of a house within an assigned city in the U.S. They must adapt their designs to the local climate, vegetation, and economy as learned in social studies. Working in groups, the students evaluate each other’s floor plan and choose one to serve as the basis for building a 3-D model. As they construct their models, the sixth graders apply measuring and estimating skills learned in math and knowledge of working circuits gained in science class. When they have completed their models, the students calculate the sale price of their houses, write a real estate ad in English and Spanish, and perform and videotape a commercial. Photographs of the houses are collated into realistic Multiple Listing books, complete with property descriptions and prices. The unit culminates with an open house for parents.

Darren Wells, Grade 6 Science Teacher, James P. Timilty Middle School, Roxbury
Of Darren Wells a former student wrote, “To this date I still have not met such as dedicated, knowledgeable and caring teacher.” Through hands-on projects such as “Body Metrics,” Wells helps students to master difficult concepts and to make vital connections between science study and their own lives. In Body Metrics, Wells’ sixth graders use the U.S. and metric systems of measurement to explore the validity of Leonardo da Vinci’s theories pertaining to the proportional relationships between different parts of the human body. Students not only gain practical experience with the metric system, but they also develop a better understanding of percentages, fractions, and ratios. Body Metrics involves social studies, art, and English in addition to science and math and provides opportunities for students to use various technologies, including calculators, digital cameras, and the Internet.

2002 Above and Beyond Award Recipients

Joann Blum--the 2002 winner of the Above and Beyond $10,000 stipend, is a seventh and eighth grade science at the Thomas Prince School in Princeton. A nationally recognized teacher, who for the last 10 years has been selected by National Honor Society inductees as the teacher "who is making the most significant impact" in her school career. In 2001 she received the Christa MacAuliffe Fellowship award. Recently Joann teamed up with the Massachusetts Audubon Society to develop The Princeton Nature Trail project, which includes a nature trail, a natural history identification field guide, radio tracking of turtles, and geographic information systems. Four years ago transmitters were placed on three spotted turtles, and students tracked their movements. Information they gathered has been forwarded to the State Department of Environmental Management. Joann plans to use her $1,000 award to purchase an updated receiver to continue tracking of the turtles, two GPS units for her school, and a Saturday Turtle Camp for interested students to get a more accurate count of our spotted turtle population. With the $10,000 stipend, she will develop a field guide to nature trails, and will create a CD and booklet about nature trails that can be used in urban as well as rural areas.

Gina Andrade--a sixth grade math and science teacher at the Morse Pond School in Falmouth. Gina regularly uses innovative technology in her classroom and for the unique projects that she has created including: a student investigation of the properties of water; the causes and effects of oil spills in our environment; and an archaeological dig in which students discover fossils, then map and graph their findings.

Kenneth Duffy--an eighth grade science teacher at the Parker Middle School in Chelmsford. Ken has discovered many ways to integrate technology into the science curriculum for his students. His involvement with EarthKAM (EARTH Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) which is a joint venture with Mitre Corporation and TERC, the Technical Education Research Center, exemplifies ways in which the use of technology can enhance the curriculum and promote student learning.

Fred Erickson--an eighth grade math teacher at the Searles Middle School in Great Barrington. Fred's two primary goals are to encourage students to think at a higher level and to teach them to be responsible for their own learning. He tries to convey a sense of excitement with a sequence of math essays that revolve around the character "Klyde the Ape." Jane Furey, Searles principal, says Erickson is "our MVP in the classroom."

Cathy Graham--a seventh grade math and science at the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Orleans. Her principal Paul Niles wrote of her "outstanding ability to design math lessons that transform the teaching of key curricular concepts into 'learning events'. Among the projects her class undertakes are the planning of a turkey dinner for 20 at Thanksgiving. This is a multi-disciplinary hands-on activity involving planning amounts from cookbook quantities, costing, working in groups, spreadsheet use for analysis, (and hopefully eating good food); In her "Build a Home" project, students address the geometry, number sense and measurement frameworks by drafting a blueprint of their house, choosing a building site, calculating the cost of the home and trying to sell the home at a profit.

John King--a sixth, seventh and eighth grade science teacher at the Edith N. Rogers Middle School in Lowell. To help students understand the impact the human race is having on the environment, King created Project Splash, which teaches the fundamentals of managing an aquaculture system. With National Science Foundation funds, his school purchased a mini fish farm, which will be used to raise species of fish native to New England. Eventually, Project Splash will be an after-school program and will be integrated throughout the school.

Charles Lindgren--an eighth grade science teacher at the Gates Intermediate School in Scituate. He says that learning is best achieved when students believe the material they're working with is real. For example, the class uses actual images of the sun, monitoring the changes in sunrise and sunset times in 60-plus cities and plotting the location of the rising or setting sun from autumnal to vernal equinox in Scituate. The web site he developed, "WeatherGate" is an award winning interactive muiltimedia Internet project.

Diane Mason--a sixth grade science teacher at the JFK Middle School in Hudson. For her, technology is at the core of the educational experience. She is involved with the Intel Teach to the Future program and is a teacher leader in the district's Critical Math and Science Synergy NSF grant project. Last summer Mason developed a Web Quest to be used with the sixth-grade Planetary Science Unit. The program features simulations, data tracking and organizing that allow students to experience the work of real scientists.

Charity Cochran-Murphy--a sixth grade science teacher at the Martin Luther King Middle School in Boston. Charity incorporates social studies, writing and research skills, math, art and physical education into her science lessons. She holds an Invention Fair each year, giving students an opportunity to apply their creativity to what they have learned. Through Murphy's work, students who formerly shunned science are "rediscovering" the subject.

Diane Perito--a seventh grade science teacher at the Beebe School in Malden. Diane spent more than 10 years as a research scientist before becoming a teacher. The magnet theme for the Beebe School is "Environmental and Health Sciences", and she uses the local environment as a vital tool for teaching these subjects. Students test tap water from home, pond water, river water and ocean water. They take walking field trips as well as other trips aboard Envirolab, in Boston Harbor, using these sites as outdoor classrooms.

Warren Phillips--a seventh grade science teacher, Plymouth Community Intermediate School, in Plymouth. Throughout the year, Warren keeps his seventh-grade students involved with real-world experimentation by organizing units such as a pond study, a geological field trip to the Blue Hills, a seashore project with a field trip to the Cape Cod National Seashore, a whale watch, and several gardening experiments using Gro-Lab.

Dr. Mette Schwartz--a seventh grade science teacher at Memorial Middle School in Beverly. Prior to teaching she worked for several years as an environmental regulator for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. She is committed to developing and implementing a Green Schools program within the Beverly Public School system. She is currently developing hands-on materials for the school that will educate students and teachers about green schools and renewable energy topics.

Deirdre Scott--an eighth grade science teacher at the Fairview Veterans Memorial Middle School in Chicopee. Many of the projects in Scott's classroom are interdisciplinary. For one six-week project combining math and science, her students design and build a scale model of a nine-hole golf course. For a geology study, they take a Virtual Field Trip in which they visit national parks around the country to locate and describe specific rock types and geological features.

Myriam Ulloa-Skolnic--a sixth grade science teacher at the Magnet Middle School for the Arts in Holyoke. Ever conscious of the difficulties many of her students have to live with on a daily basis - poverty and special learning needs to name just two, she strives to motivate the students to see the numerous connections between science and math and their lives. Last summer, she became a NASA teacher. She has established a collaboration with the agency's "Living with a Star" educational initiative. Eventually, she hopes to include parents in related enrichment activities, such as field trips and star watches.

Erica Voolich--a seventh grade math teacher at the Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton. She has been described as "passionate about teaching math, " and wants her students to become passionate about math too. To grab her students' attention and keep them excited, Voolich uses real-life connections such as decoding barcodes, and reading stories that give the historical context about the people involved as well as the ideas that they developed.

2001 Award Winners

Kathy Downey, Unified Media Specialist, James F. Sullivan Middle School, Lowell

Diane Gilbert, English as a Second Language Teacher, Worcester Arts Magnet School

James E. Millette, Jr., Video and Telecommunications Specialist, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School

Kelly Rogers, Teacher, Grade 5, C.A. Farley Elementary, Hudson

Kathleen Schrock, District Technology Department Head, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District

2000 Award Winners

Laraine Hawkins, Teacher, Franklin High School

Su. Henry, Teacher, Merriam School, Acton

Judith MacPherson, Teacher, Williams Elementary School, Pittsfield

Amy Castle Moon & Trisha McIsaac, Teachers, Hosmer Elementary School, Watertown

Jon "Jack" Reyes, Volunteer, Holbrook Public Schools

1999 Award Winners

Sheldon Berman, Superintendent of Schools, Hudson Public Schools

Kathleen Dario, Volunteer, Huckleberry Hill School, Lynnfield

Maureen Henzel, Teacher, Hunnewell School, Wellesley

Jeannine Trigilio, Vice Principal and Teacher, West Memorial School, Peabody

John Werner & Arnold Haan, Teacher & Volunteer, Citizen Schools/Woodrow Wilson Middle School, Dorchester

1998 Award Winners

Albert Baggetta, English Teacher, Agawam High School

Nancy Ferguson, Teacher, Angier School, Newton

Eva Gibavic, Learning Disabilities and Technology Specialist, Hampshire Educational Collaborative, Northampton

Viriato Goncalves, Teacher, Dearborn Middle School, Boston

Kathy Lind, Teacher, Burbank School, Belmont

Kathy Moss, Parent Volunteer, Rockport Elementary School

Leticia Pagan, Teacher, Bilingual Education, Collins Middle School, Salem

Scott Salvidio, Digital Equipment Corporation, Volunteer, Shrewsbury Public Schools

Michael Youmans, Teacher, Maimondes School, Brookline

Susan Zellmann-Rohrer, Parent Volunteer, Thoreau School, Concord

Special Achievement Awards

In addition to the Above and Beyond Awards, several Special Achievement Awards have been presented to outstanding public officials who have made particularly significant contributions in the effort to advance the use of technology in Massachusetts schools.

In addition, several Special Achievement Awards have been presented to outstanding public officials who have made particularly significant contributions in the effort to advance the use of technology in Massachusetts schools.

Jack Rennie, founder of Pacer Systems (now AverStar) and cofounder of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education - 2001, Awarded posthumously.

Beth Lowd, Coordinator, Business and Education for Schools and Technology (BEST) -- 2000

Edward M. Kennedy, U.S. Senator -- 1999

Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of Boston -- October 1998

Steven Miller, Executive Director, Mass Networks Partnership, Inc. -- January 1998

 

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