School: Palomares, Proctor, Independent, Marshall, Stanton, and Castro Valley Elementary
District: Castro Valley Unified School District
County: Alameda County
Region: Northern California
Grade: Elementary School
Award Year: 2007
I have had one professional purpose for more than 30 years: to make math and science concepts accessible, touchable, and fun. I have built everything from a hovercraft students can ride to sets of acrylic tanks for studying convection currents. I created two science-night events to strengthen family involvement. One presents 35 distinct hands-on activities (think mini exploratorium) and the other contains 15 activity stations that families work through with a “passport.” One key area of personal interest is closing the pernicious achievement gap that exists in our schools. Many schools have limited science instruction in favor of targeted reading instruction. This is wrong headed. I believe science supports language acquisition by giving all students access to exciting phenomena. This creates meaningful dialogue and opportunities to think, wonder, and write.