Yakima Teacher Receives $5,000 to Mentor Students in Science Research from Home | News

YAKIMA, WA – The Society for Science & the Public announced 66 Advocates from across the country, including a Yakima teacher, who will receive $5,000.

Robin Driver, from Eisenhower High School, is one of the 66 educators chosen to receive $5,000 from the Society for Science & the Public to provide funding, training, materials, and research equipment to make quality STEM learning and instruction easier during COVID-19 shutdowns.

Robin has spent the last 6 years developing a research science program from the ground up along with teaching Principles of Biomedical Science, Human Body Systems, and AP Environmental Science. Robin has also been involved in competitive running as either an athlete or coach for the past 38 years. Robin is inspired daily by the creative energy of her husband, Denny, an artist, and the never-ending curiosity and energy of their 5-year-old son, Eli.

The Society for Science & the Public chose 66 STEM educators from middle and high schools, as well as universities, museums, and nonprofits across the country, who demonstrate a profound commitment to students of different races and ethnicities in STEM and students from low-income households.

In order to meet the exceptional demands and overcome the limitations of this unusual school year, the Society has incorporated a new element to the Advocate Program, devoting $132,000 (an additional $2,000 per Advocate) to support students who are conducting research at home or in the classroom.

Advocates will choose to use these monies towards the following options:

  • Research Lab Kits – Advocates will choose from several kits for their students to use at home or in the classroom, giving students the autonomy to focus on their unique research interests (e.g. chemistry kits, Arduino kits, Neuron Spikerbox Bundles, water sampling and weather experiment kits and more)
  • Safety Equipment for Classrooms – For teachers whose schools remain open, they may purchase safety equipment, such as disinfecting supplies, plexiglass and other required supplies to keep students and staff safe throughout the year
  • Tech Kits for Educators will ensure that all Advocates have the standardized ability to attend a first-class Training Institute, year-round training, and sustainable student cohort calls
  • Internet Access – Advocates will have a choice of using their funding for hot spots or some form of Internet access, depending on student needs in and outside the classroom

“I am excited for the opportunity to network and collaborate with other science teachers from around country who have the same passion for science research competitions as myself as part of the 2020 Advocate Grant Program,” said Robin. “This collective expertise will provide invaluable support and resources as I continue to further develop the research science program at Eisenhower High School. Through their involvement in the research science program at Eisenhower High School, students have the opportunity to develop the technical and professional skills, academic knowledge, mindset, and competitive advantage needed to successfully pursue STEM career paths.”

Advocates will also participate in a virtual Advocate Training Institute where they will learn best practices for supporting students in entering STEM research competitions and discuss strategies specific to COVID-19, meet and learn from each other and obtain training from Society staff. During the remainder of the public health emergency and the rest of their one-year terms, the Society will provide Advocates with continued support via virtual meetings and conference calls.

For additional information about the Advocate Program, visit: https://www.societyforscience.org/outreach-and-equity/advocate-program/

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