NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – At least one New Rochelle teacher will be going to summer school this July, after an Isaac E Young Middle School educator was chosen to participate in the national Siemens Teachers As Researchers (STARs) Fellowship Program.
Patricia McCue, a seventh-grade science teacher at the school, was one of just 40 teachers from around the country to be named to the program, which will provide her with hands on experience in a laboratory.
The annual professional development workshop will take place from July 20 through Aug. 1 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge, Tenn., the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest national research lab.
Outside of the knowledge she will glean working alongside some of the nation’s finest minds, by participating in the program, McCue will receive a small stipend and a $300 grant to purchase equipment and supplies for her classroom.
“This is a terrific opportunity to expose my students to cutting edge research and how it’s done,” she said. “With this experience, I hope to better guide them in their own research and spark their curiosity for science. This provides me with a unique opportunity to network nationally with other educators and bring new ideas to the district.”
McCue said she was looking for summer professional development opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) research, when she came upon the STARs program. To apply, she had to complete several essays, earn an administrator's recommendation and submit a two-minute video to a panel.
Each of the educators chosen for the program will now have the chance to work alongside some of the nation’s top scientists.
“This is the first time I will have been involved in actual research,” she said. “My district has had success in securing several technology grants. As team leader on those grants, I saw how the students benefited from both the technology and the professional development I received.”
In addition to performing research, the STARs fellows will also take tours of the Department of Energy facilities and attend seminars where they will be instructed on how to best apply what they’ve learned during the program in their classrooms.
“I’m really excited to do authentic research at a national laboratory with fellow educators and top flight scientists,” McCue added. “I look forward to being in a real research setting. Instead of reading about cutting edge science and trying to explain it to students, I will have the chance to be involved.”