Silver Hill Elementary School math coach Jennifer Donais is going global in her effort to bring STEM education to students. On the heels of receiving a Presidential Excellence Award in Washington D.C., the city native is planning to head to the United Arab Emirates with the professional development agency STEM Revolution to train 30 teachers new to the science, technology, engineering and math curriculum.
Donais is one of eight elementary school teachers from across the country chosen to take the trip. She found out about the opportunity from a fellow Presidential Excellence Award honoree, she tells WHAV.
“Global education and global citizenship is such a big deal and as a teacher, I feel like the more I know, the more I can enlighten my students,” the educator said.
Planning to keep a video diary for her students to show them what Dubai classrooms are like, Donais makes the trip with the blessing of Silver Hill Principal Margaret Shepherd and Superintendent Margaret Marotta.
The math coach continues to integrate STEM learning into the Silver Hill culture. As WHAV previously reported, several third graders at the elementary school are preparing to enter March’s final round of a worldwide robotics competition, while others are learning the ins and outs of a 3-D printer as part of classroom study.
Donais tells WHAV she was inspired by what she learned at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy summit she attended last summer.
“At the STEM summit, we talked a lot about problem solving,” Donais said. “That’s where we need to go in our district: Making sure our students are critically thinking and being creative in their thinking.”