FAIRMONT — An eighth-grade teacher at Fairgrove Middle School was recently honored for bringing science alive in the classroom for his students.
Donn Kirkwood received the Outstanding K-8 Educator Award in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education when the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center held its annual awards last week. The event honored teachers, students and organizations throughout the state that have made an impact on science, technology, engineering and math education and development.
According to a statement from the education center, Kirkwood, in order to get students excited about science, uses lab experiments and real-world scenarios in his lessons. Last year, 90 percent of Kirkwood’s eighth-grade class performed at or above grade level for North Carolina’s proficiency standards, higher than district and state averages.
“The Outstanding K-8 Educator Award recognizes the educator who excels in fulfilling (our) mission of providing children with the knowledge and skill to succeed in his or her career,” said Sam Houston, president of the education center. “I hope Donn Kirkwood’s dedication to his students’ success sets a new standard for teachers across the state. His unique and innovative approach to educating future STEM practitioners is helping to further North Carolina’s prestige in education.”
According to a recently released first-ever, comprehensive STEM ScoreCard, STEM jobs will be a major job contributor across North Carolina and the country, seeing an increase of at least 17 percent over the next five years. The center says it is more important than ever to engage students in math and science and develop their STEM skills from a young age.
The award recipients were nominated by their colleagues. For information about the center, award winners or additional STEM resources, visit www.ncsmt.org.