Jennifer Keeler, a fourth grade math and science teacher at Rincon Elementary, has been selected to participate in the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy this summer at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey. The week-long, all-expense-paid intensive professional development program for third through fifth grade teachers is designed to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to motivate students to pursue careers in science and math. Keeler, Rincon Elementary’s 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year, was one of 1500 teachers across the country who applied to attend the prestigious program and one of 200 selected.
At the academy, teachers discover fun ways to learn math and science while playing with balloons, rocket cars, marbles and much more. Keeler will spend a week with other third, fourth and fifth grade teachers learning lots of fun math and science experiments that they can take back and share with their students.
The focus of the five-day program is to deepen teachers’ understanding of mathematics and science content in the areas of data and statistics, measurement, force and motion and to build expertise in facilitating student learning through problem solving and inquiry. It is also a great way to network and share ideas with math and science teachers from other parts of the country.
Pro golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy partnered with ExxonMobil to develop the academy in conjunction with the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions. The Mickelson’s wanted to offer a program that inspires teachers in math and science and equips them with interactive teaching tools to ignite their students’ passion for these subjects. They also wanted to create a program that helps develop the next generation of science savvy citizens who will grow up to make the next breakthroughs in medicine, in energy, or in any of the growing number of fields that require a solid foundation in math and science.