HUNTINGTON STATION, NY – Frederick Feraco, a teacher at Walt Whitman High School, has been recognized as one of 95 Outstanding Educators across the United States, the Society for Science announced.
Feraco, representing the South Huntington School District, is one of the recipients of $135,000 in STEM research grants to advance science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning in the middle and high school classes in the United States and abroad.
The awards are a tribute to the perseverance teachers show in supporting their students, who have the potential to be the next generation of climatologists, astronomers, geneticists, data analysts and engineers.
The winners this year represent schools from 29 states, Washington DC, the US territories of American Samoa, Guam and Puerto Rico as well as Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. Teachers in schools that support students from low-income communities and underrepresented demographics in STEM fields are prioritized to receive the grants.
STEM research grants will be awarded in two forms: (1) research kits assembled and distributed to teachers by the Society for Science and (2) funds given directly to teachers for STEM-related equipment, such as the technology, laboratory supplies or software, all for use in practical research.
The amount each teacher will receive in the second category will vary depending on what the teacher has requested for their class. Of the 95 teachers selected, 85 will receive STEM research kits worth $1,000 per kit; 11 teachers will receive funds of up to $5,000 for their own purchases and one beneficiary will receive a research kit in addition to $2,000 in funding.
STEM research kits and funding will help educators fuel scientific research, whether remote, in-person, or through a hybrid model. The society STEM Research Grant Program is sponsored by Regeneron and National Geographic.
“We are thrilled to offer these teachers STEM kits and resources to advance their students’ pursuit of inquiry-based learning,” said Michele Glidden, program manager at the Society for Science. “Studies have consistently shown that hands-on original research and active learning are essential for students to truly embrace STEM pathways – this is especially true for women and students from underrepresented backgrounds. We are proud to award scholarships to those exceptional teachers who motivate their students to conduct research, use their critical thinking skills, and empower them to answer questions to solve problems in the world around them.”
Each STEM research kit includes:
- Arduino Starter Kits – Each recipient will receive four. Students can embark on learning electronics. Available in a variety of languages and easy to use, teachers can guide students through projects on voltage, current, coding, and programming fundamentals. Students will build innovative prototypes with Arduino boards for research projects with this kit.
- PocketLab Voyagers – Each beneficiary will receive two PocketLab Voyagers. Students can research from anywhere with handheld devices. The devices can be used for physics, weather, climate studies, and engineering subjects via sensors that measure acceleration, angular velocity, magnetic fields, altitude, infrared range finder, and more. Users stream real-time data with the Pocket Lab app to their own devices.
- Trail Cameras – Recipients will receive four trail cameras, along with SD cards and batteries. This camera offers high quality images and videos. These motion-activated cameras will allow students to conduct many types of research remotely – from studying local flora and animals and animal behavior to monitoring conservation challenges, changes in biodiversity and even observing the impact of humans on local wildlife. Students can easily attach the camera to a tree or pole, leave it in place and collect data over time, or use it to monitor species overnight or during the day.
- LaMotte Water Monitoring Kits – Each beneficiary will receive four water monitoring kits. Whether it’s a nearby stream or ocean, a well or drinking water, these portable kits help students who want to study water quality and contamination. This kit can be used to examine eight test parameters and includes non-hazardous reagents to evaluate up to 10 water samples.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the Society for Science has donated at least 9,098 kits to more than 600 educators in all 50 states, Washington DC, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Peru , Mexico and Uruguay.