St. Mary Recognized for Excellence in STEM Education

8th graders share the wonder of science with their 4th grade “buddies”. From left to right: 8th grader Ava Holbrook, 4th graders Bobby Bennett and Leo Hampshire and 8th grader Tyler Morin

Saint Mary School and Anita Yaple Honored Again with Governor’s Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in STEM Education


    Saint Mary School and 7th/8th grade science teacher Anita Yaple have been selected to receive the Governor’s Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in STEM Education for the 2016/2017 school year from Governor John Kasich and The Ohio Department of Education.  St. Mary is one of only 58 Ohio schools to receive this honor and Yaple is one of 508 teachers in the state to receive this special award.  “These schools are engaged in project-based curricula, the central element of any STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education program,” said Lynn Elfner, the Academy’s CEO. Elfner continued, “Receiving a Governor’s Thomas Edison Award for Excellence sends a clear signal that these schools and teachers value student-originated, inquiry-based science education as outlined in the Ohio Science Education Standards and in the National Science Education Standards. Whole new worlds of opportunities open up to students when they complete research or technological design projects”.


    To qualify for the Governor’s Award, each school conducted a local science fair with 12 or more students, sent two or more of these students to one of the Academy’s 17 district science days, and involved students in one or more youth science opportunities beyond the classroom such as State Science Day, visits to museums, mentorship programs and extended field trips.   In addition, Mrs Yaple had to convince external STEM  professionals how and to what extent the school’s program met the Academy’s definition of STEM  education. The Ohio Academy of Science defines STEM education as both the mastery and  integration of science technology, engineering, and mathematics for all PK‐12 students. It  incorporates scientific inquiry and technological design through student‐focused, project‐based  curricula to develop skills of communication, teamwork/collaboration, creativity/innovation, critical  thinking and problem solving


    The Ohio Academy of Science initiated this educational partnership program in cooperation with The Office of The Governor and the Ohio Department of Education to recognize schools and teachers who stimulate student scientific research and extend science education opportunities beyond traditional classroom activities.  The Technology Division of The Ohio Department of Development has supported this program since 1985 by grants to The Ohio Academy of Science.


    Congratulations to both St. Mary School and Anita Yaple for an outstanding job in providing numerous hands-on activities that make learning science both meaningful and exciting.

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