The Georgia Department of Education is dedicated to preparing students for 21st Century workplace careers by providing high quality educational opportunities in STEM fields. STEM represents the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM education encourages a curriculum that is driven by problem solving, discovery, exploratory learning, and student-centered development of ideas and solutions. The saturation of technology in most fields means that all students – not just those who plan to pursue a STEM profession – will require a solid foundation in STEM to be productive members of the workforce.
The Museum of Aviation’s National STEM Academy in Warner Robins, Georgia has selected Mrs. Jaime Punjabi, a third grade teacher at Hendersonville Elementary in Dekalb County, Georgia, as the Museum’s first 2013-2014 STEM Teacher of the Year. Jaime Punjabi was nominated by the school’s principal, Dr. Rebecca Jackson. Dr. Jackson said, “Mrs. Punjabi has built a classroom of trust. Her third graders know that they can make a mistake or that their project doesn’t have to work the first time and that is okay. She encourages her students to work up to their potential and holds everyone to the highest standards. This translates to an enjoyment of STEM for her students.”
Melissa Spalding, Director of Education at the Museum of Aviation visited Jaime Punjabi’s classroom and took a tour of Henderson Mill Elementary. “Mrs. Punjabi’s sincere effort to enrich the lives of her students through interactive STEM learning is evident. Her students are actively engaged in STEM daily. I was inspired by the STEM learning occurring in Mrs. Punjabi’s classroom.”
The award prizes will be given at the Georgia NASA Teacher’s STEM Day on September 28th at the Museum of Aviation, Warner Robins, Georgia. The Georgia NASA Teacher’s STEM Day is a professional development training program for educators and will include a luncheon. The STEM Teacher of the Year announcement will be awarded during the luncheon in the Century of Flight Hangar at the Museum of Aviation. Prizes will include $1000 to Jaime Punjabi and $1000 to Henderson Mill Elementary School. Teachers that would like to register for the Georgia NASA Teacher’s STEM Day should visit the museum’s website at www.museumofaviation.org and fill out the online registration. Cost is $15.
The Museum of Aviation National STEM Academy is a part of the Museum of Aviation Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization that raises money to support the Museum of Aviation, the second largest aviation museum in the U.S. Air Force. The Foundation plans to make the STEM Teacher of the Year an annual award.