September 2016 PAESTAR

This month we recognize Nicole Fuhrman of Strong Vincent High School in Erie, Pennsylvania, for being the District IV winner of the 2016 NSTA/Shell Science Lab Challenge. Because most of Nicole's students did not learn science concepts in primary school years, they lack the knowledge to understand more abstract, complex concepts in high school. Hands-on activities make these abstract concepts concrete and give students confidence to delve deeper into the content. Because Erie City School District has budget challenges, the school's lab facilities are incomplete and have very few technology resources. However, Nicole has improved student learning by using simple materials in creative ways to have students understand concepts such as the formation of igneous rocks. The opportunity to work with real scientific tools adds authenticity to classroom experiences and legitimacy to students' work, which is why NSTA/Shell has recognized Nicole for her creativity and innovation.

Congratulations, Nicole - you clearly are a PAESTAR!