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ISEC Teachers Recognized for Excellence

Three ISEC Teachers Recognized for Excellence in Science Teaching!

Congratulations to Chrissy Romero and Delara Sharma for being selected as 2016 New Mexico finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching!

Since 1983, each President has recognized teachers from all 50 states who have been “models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.” The two teachers were honored at the New Mexico National Science Teachers Association conference and go on to compete for the national presidential award, the nation’s highest honor for teachers of mathematics and science.

Chrissy is a 3rd grade teacher at Gonzales Community School and has taught for 23 years. This is her first year with ISEC and has prior inquiry science teaching experience with Smithsonian Institute’s LASER i3 program.

Students in Chrissy Romero’s 3rd grade class at Gonzales Community School explore materials guided by the focus question, “How do magnets interact with each other and paper clips?”

“I love inquiry science because it grabs the kids. When you set out the materials, their curiosity makes them want to find out what is going to happen,” she said. “Their engagement continues in our discussion circle because it gives them a chance to share what they learned and make sense of it through the science content. Inquiry also makes the material accessible to all students. Learning and language differences almost disappear when the kids start working. They develop social skills as well when they learn to settle differences and work together.”

Delara has been a teacher for 20 years and is a 5th grade teacher at Piñon Elementary. She has been with the ISEC program since it began in 2010.

Students in Delara Sharma’s 5th grade class at Pinon Elementary investigated the claim, “when salt dissolves in water, the salt is gone.” They measure the mass of a saltwater solution compared to the mass of plain water then discuss their recorded data and conclusions.

“Science is one class they really look forward to,” she said. “Just to see them excited about science and doing the investigations and tying in all the other subject matters makes me happy. The best thing about being a teacher is seeing the kids learn, grow and get it.”

Delara and Chrissy are not only science education rock stars in the classroom but also serve on the Santa Fe Public School Science Advisory Committee and are members of the ISEC Teacher Leader Cadre who trained their peers during the summer Teachers’ Institute.

Read the article in the Santa Fe New Mexican



Kevin Sebastian, 3rd grade teacher at El Camino Real Academy was named 2016 recipient of the New Mexico Academy of Science Outstanding New Mexico Science Teacher Award.

Kevin Sebastian working on an engineering challenge during ISEC summer PD.

Since 1968, NMAC has honored select teachers from nominees throughout the state who excel and exceed in science education. Kevin’s 10 years of teaching have included a strong focus on science and dual-language literacy, drawing from his interest and prior experience working on agricultural projects in several countries in Latin America and the South Pacific.

For the past eight years, he has coordinated the science fair at his school, facilitating opportunities for students to exhibit their work and share their scientific knowledge with the larger community.

“Inquiry based science encourages students to experientially search for explanations to their questions,” said Kevin. “It is an exciting way to learn new concepts and facilitates collaboration among students.”  

Congratulations, Kevin on your award!

Read the brief in the New Mexican