Roy • If Maggie Huddleston wins a national award of $5,000 for her science lab, she knows one thing she won't spend the money on textbooks.
The integrated science teacher at Sand Ridge Junior High doesn't think books are the best way to teach science. Instead, she likes to be outside doing real-life experiments. She enjoys her job and her students know it.
"Oh my gosh I love science! We do lots of hands-on stuff. I'm kind of crazy, I'm not afraid to sing, dance and do cheers; we like to be in motion. The kids have questions and we go look for answers," Huddleston said.
The Roy teacher is the regional winner for the 2013 Make My LabWoRx contest. It's the latest initiative from Science WoRx, a mentoring and online resource network for science teachers sponsored by Astellas Pharm U.S. Inc.
House Majority Leader Brad Dee, R-Washington Terrace, announced on May 14 that Huddleston had won $1,000 and a microscope for her school. Her winning video, "I vant to teach you about blood" (think Transylvanian accent) and lesson plan focused on the components of blood.
Students helped Huddleston make the award-winning video.
"I thought it was fun how she would have us help her throughout the video. She let us share our own opinions. We gave her suggestions about what to do and she showed us what our blood is made of," said seventh-grader Kenzie Hunsaker.
Now one of seven finalists, Huddleston is in the running to be the national winner who will receive $5,000 funding for the school's lab. The winner will be chosen based on the number of votes received on Facebook.
"Science is the foundation for almost everything we do and encounter in this world. A solid science education ensures we are preparing our students not only for rewarding careers, but also for successful, fulfilling lives," Dee said. "Now let's put all our support behind Maggie Huddleston so that she can bring home the grand prize!"
Huddleston would be thrilled to win the money so that she can buy enough equipment for her students to perform individual experiments instead of working in groups of four. Currently there are not enough magnifying glasses and science kits for each student.
Huddleston's goal in teaching her junior high students is to help them develop a love of science that will motivate them to take more science classes in high school.
You must have a Facebook account to vote. Voting ends on Tuesday, May 28.