The Hoosier Association of Science Teachers Inc. (HASTI) has selected Klondike Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Lauri Vitale for the Cheryl Cowan Memorial Award.
Vitale is a McCutcheon and Purdue University graduate in her seventh year of teaching at Klondike. She credits the recognition to being involved in the Purdue SLED (Science Learning through Engineering Design) program since her junior year at Purdue.
"The program gives us a different mindset about science," says Vitale. "Science is now viewed more as a process instead of following traditional, step-by-step procedures for experiments. Today, we challenge students to ask questions, explore and problem solve. Through design and redesign, students learn perseverance and enthusiasm for learning that we hope spills over to other subjects."
Vitale is grateful for the support she has received from other teachers, professors, Purdue and the Klondike staff. She says, "I am constantly inspired and learning from others."
HASTI will present the award to Vitale February 18 at its conference in Indianapolis. The award is in memory of former TSC teacher Cheryl Cowan, an award-winning educator who taught at Mayflower Mill Elementary for 20 years.