The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is the nation's highest honor for math and science teachers.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
The award is the nation's highest honor for teachers of mathematics, science, computer science and robotics, and recognizes Doe’s leadership in improving math and science education for her students and colleagues.
Doe, who earned her Master’s degree in Educational Technology from Lesley University, is a technology integration specialist in the Pelham School District in Pelham, NH, where she has championed the integration of math and science concepts into all subject areas and brought real-world applications to the elementary, middle and high school levels. She has been a leader in robotics education in her district, teaching robotics to students as young as grade one.
“I think the thing we don’t value enough right now is that engineering can start at the elementary level,” says Doe. “If we start teaching at the elementary level and we bring the arts and creativity into it, we can engage more students, especially girls, in the science and engineering fields.”
Doe has been invited to Washington, D.C. to accept the PAEMST Award. President Obama named 102 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the prestigious award, which also honors each winner with $10,000. The awards were announced on Dec. 20, 2013.
“When I received the Presidential Award for science teaching, it was kind of a surreal moment,” Doe recalled. “Sometimes I think I teach a little too outside of the box, but the fact that it was a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) lesson I submitted is relevant to what’s going on right now.”
Doe earned her master’s degree in Educational Technology from Lesley University in 1999, while teaching in North Hampton, NH. After earning her degree, she became a member of Lesley’s faculty and taught courses on technology and the Internet for a number of years.
“The program at Lesley as a whole exposed me to so many different facets of technology. We talked about robotics, evaluation of software, and effective use of the Internet,” Doe reflected. “Even though the program has had to change to stay current, it gave me the basis for keeping up with my own professional development and learning about technology over the years. Everything I did in that program was relevant to my classroom, and I appreciated that the most.”
In addition to her work in her school district, Doe serves on the LEGO Education Advisory Panel, helping with product development and providing feedback on ideas that LEGO is developing. Doe works on incorporating LEGOs into all elementary subject areas to demonstrate engineering and robotics concepts.
She has created a curriculum in Pelham that primarily uses robotics and LEGOs to demonstrate the STEM subjects, and her students work on programming in the lab.
“It’s such an engaging subject for them, to build things and test them and work to improve their constructions,” said Doe.
“Kids who aren’t always successful in school and may struggle with reading and math are often the ones who shine in my classroom,” said added. “Instead of teaching them a skill in isolation, they all have relevance to real life.”
She was also among roughly 50 educators worldwide chosen to participate in the international Google Teacher Academy in London last month.
Doe grew up in Gardiner, Maine, and earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Maine Farmington. She lives in Windham, New Hampshire, with her husband and three children.
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