Dr. palmer wins stem scholars award

Dr. Palmer Awarded
Dr. Palmer

Dr. Kerri Palmer, a STEAM teacher at Mundy Mill Learning Academy, was selected as a recipient of the 2020 Georgia STEM Scholars Award by the Georgia Youth Science and Technology Centers (GYSTC). She is one of the twenty-six Georgia educators being honored for their effective practices in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.
 
The Georgia STEM Scholar Award recognizes certified K– 8th grade teachers who integrate effective STEM education in their classrooms. Georgia STEM Scholars demonstrate a passion and determination to provide students with innovative and challenging STEM experiences. These educators create an atmosphere of exploration that excites, energizes, and equips their students to pursue enhanced educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math.
“Dr. Palmer does an excellent job helping our students learn to think critically and creatively by implementing engaging lessons that integrate [STEAM]. Our boys and girls work collaboratively to brainstorm solutions for authentic, real-world problems,” said Dr. Crystal Brown, Mundy Mill Academy Principal. “I celebrate with Dr. Palmer for being a 2020 Georgia STEM Scholar Award recipient. It is a well-deserved honor.” 
Dr. Palmer will be recognized at the Georgia STEM Scholar Awards Luncheon in March at the Georgia International Conference Center in Atlanta and will receive a $500 grant to purchase STEM education materials for her classroom and free admission to a two-day GYSTC Summer STEM Institute. During the conference, she and other award recipients will participate in Super STEM Challenges, Robotics and Coding Activities, and Top 10 STEM Explorations. In addition, the educators will develop their own engaging STEM Challenge to be shared with their teaching colleagues.
“STEAM is my passion, [and] I have taught STEAM [classes] in the Gainesville City School System for several years now,” said Dr. Palmer. “To have validation by experts that what I am doing as an educator is effective fuels my passion." Within her classroom, Dr. Palmer provides opportunities for her students to think critically, be creative, collaborate and communicate in a project-based setting. She fosters a learning environment that encourages curiosity and inquiry; enabling students to take charge of their own learning through experimentation and exploration.
She plans to use the grant to purchase additional instructional supplies to support STEAM class projects and will purchase a hands-on Standards STEM-in-action unit for teaching about adaptations. “To be an effective STEAM educator, the first step is to always connect the challenge or project-based learning activity to the state standards,” Dr. Palmer said. “Then, I connect multiple standards across the curriculum with authentic, real-world experiences. Doing this helps support classroom [instruction] and provides a new way [for students] to learn the standards [to help increase] their academic success.”

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