In late January, SAISD Foundation Executive Director, Judy Geelhoed, awarded Tynan E.C.E.C. Pre-Kindergarten teacher, Melisa Hill, with the Innovative Teacher of the Month Award for her ongoing work to incorporate STEM into her curriculum.
Ms. Hill received a mini-grant from the Foundation during the 2016-2017 school year to establish a robotics program for her 4- and 5-year old students. Known as Cubelets, the kit contains magnetic blocks that can be snapped together to make an endless variety of robots with no programming or wires. Once assembled, the robots can move, respond to light, objects, and temperature. As Ms. Hill’s young students explored with the engineering toy throughout the school year, Ms. Hill found them to become both more confident and curious in their robot-construction, working collaboratively to create robots with different abilities and components.
Now in her second year of using the Cubelets as part of her STEM curriculum, Ms. Hill says, “It is never to early to be an engineer.” Check out this short video on Ms. Hill and her classroom work!
The Innovative Teacher of the Month Award honors one SAISD teacher who is moving the needle in terms of classroom innovation, rigor, and engagement.