Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT) Honors Six Science Educators with Teacher Awards at the Synopsys Science & Technology Championship

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RAFT awards science teachers from Challenger - Middlefield, Granada Islamic, Magnolia Science Academy, Merryhill, Milpitas Christian and Springer schools whose students used hands-on techniques and repurposed materials in the Synopsys Science Fair projects.

Dr. Pritha G. Roy, winner of the RAFT Teacher Award with Merryhill School student, Andrew Shacker

...every teacher who sends a student to the Science Fair deserves recognition. RAFT looked for hands-on projects that used everyday materials in innovative ways.

Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT) recently recognized six science educators whose students use recycled materials in creative and resourceful ways and/or used hands-on learning elements in their project at the Synopsys Silicon Valley Science & Technology Championship (SSVSTC).

Tini Raman of Challenger School in Middlefield Palo Alto, Sumizah Qureshi from Granada Islamic School, Matt Karakas, from Magnolia Science Academy in Santa Clara, Pritha Roy from Merryhill Schools in Milpitas, Lindon Richards from Milpitas Christian School and Dough Core from Springer school were given one year free RAFT membership in appreciation and encouragement for using hands-on methods of teaching in their classrooms.

Dr. Pritha G. Roy, Lead Technology and Science teacher at Merryhill Schools says, “I was really honored to get the award from RAFT and this was my first time getting this award. Not every child is an auditory learner. There are different types of students. To have the concepts stay with them for a lifetime it’s always better to teach using hands-on methods. This way they can do things on their own and also feel connected to the topics during the learning process!”

By using hands-on methods of teaching, educators foster 21st century skills - critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity- that students need, to be successful through their lives. Hands-on activities also encourage a love of learning and motivate students to explore and discover new concepts.

Greg Brown, Director of Education at RAFT, explains the process for selecting the award winners. “Choosing recipients for the RAFT prize is always a challenge - every teacher who sends a student to the Science Fair deserves recognition. RAFT looked for hands-on projects that used everyday materials in innovative ways. We noticed that the entries from schools like Granada Islamic and Merryhill included many creatively ‘re-purposed’ materials. We saw evidence that the students had learned a great deal, and we were impressed by how well they could explain their experiments. Their teachers definitely earned this award!”

Resource Area For Teaching’s (RAFT) main focus is to inspire, engage and educate all children through the power of hands-on teaching. RAFT is doing this today with some 10,000 educators, who teach both inside and outside the classroom. RAFT’s products (Activity Kits & Idea Sheets), services (professional development and mentoring) and low-cost teaching supplies enrich and improve the education of over 825,000 young people each year.

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Radha Ravi

Renee Brotherton
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