Regional educators and industry leaders were honored by their peers as nominees and/or award recipients of the 2017 SOVA STEM-H Education & Industry Achievement awards.  The awards were presented at the 5th Annual Southern Virginia STEM-H Summit on March 2 at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.  The awards formally recognize industry members and educators who are leading the charge in creating and partnering on innovative educational opportunities. 

  • Community Champion for STEM-H Education – Virginia Museum of Natural History
    • VMNH is a dedicated supporter of STEM-H programming in Southern Virginia and managed outreach to promote science education throughout the region.  In 2016, VMNH delivered STEM education to more than 15,000 people via museum visits, outreach programs to school districts, science talks, and education booths at career fairs. 
  •  STEM-H Educator of the Year – Karen Adams
    • Karen Adams is a 17-year veteran teacher currently co-teaching sixth and eighth grade math at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School.  Adams also organizes and promotes many STEM learning opportunities for students, teachers, parents, and the community during non-school hours including Ten-80, Summer Engineering Experience for Kids Camp, Pre-College Initiative Program at Virginia Tech, and the Imagination STEM Camp at Virginia Tech. 
  • Innovative STEM-H Program of the Year – Biomedical Competition, National Society of Black Engineers
    • The biomedical competition was created to educate the community on diseases that plague our community.  Students worked in teams to research a disease or medical condition and develop a presentation to be judged by local physicians. 
  • Elite STEM-H Education & Industry Partnership Award – Dan River Basin Association, US Army Corps of Engineers-Philpott Lake, and Martinsville City Schools
    • The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) has partnered with Martinsville City Public Schools for more than a decade on the Trout in the Classroom program reaching thousands of students since 2005.  In 2012, a new education program formed between DRBA and the Army Corps of Engineers at Philpott Lake, Streamside Trees in the Classroom, an environmental education program for elementary students to learn about water quality and the importance of streamside vegetation. 

“This year’s nominees and award recipients represent the creativity and STEM-H leadership in our region.  Their commitment to STEM-H in the region ensures we have a vibrant workforce equipped with the skills needed to participate in an innovative economy,” said Jessie Vernon, IALR Advanced Learning Coordinator.

The STEM-H Summit is sponsored by the Southern Virginia Higher Education Coalition: the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research, New College Institute, and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.  The Summit brings together regional stakeholders, business & community leaders, teachers, & students, in STEM-H education & workforce development.

PHOTO: (left to right) Helen Howell, Innovative STEM-H Program of the Year; Karen Adams, STEM-H Educator of the Year; Sydney Brown representing VMNH for the Community Champion for STEM-H Education; Dr. Dietra Trent, Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia; Krista Hodges representing DRBA, Ernie Shepherd representing the US Army Corps of Engineers-Philpott Lake, and Todd Cassell, representing Martinsville City Public Schools as the recipients of the Elite STEM-H Education & Industry Partnership Award.

Link for additional STEM-H Summit photos