Laramie Teacher Named STEM Educator of the Year [VIDEO]
One of three Wyoming teachers recently recognized at the Roadmap to STEM Conference in Rock Springs for their outstanding work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education lives and works right here in the Gem City.
Teresa Strube, a middle school science and math teacher at the University of Wyoming Lab School, was named STEM Secondary Educator of the Year by a Wyoming Department of Education selection committee. She was also recognized at Wednesday's Albany County School District No. 1 Board of Education meeting.
“It’s a bit unusual for science and math teachers to form strong partnerships with the librarians in a school, but Mrs. Strube is the exception. She works closely with my staff to create and teach innovative technology electives,” says Dr. Margaret Hudson, principal of the UW Lab School.
Strube’s work has included quarterly elective courses that involve building raspberry pi, programming Sphero robots, robotics exploration and teaching a girls-only technology course.
“This is for all students,” Strube emphasizes. “A lot of schools target the students that are really good in math and bring them into technology and teach them, but my goal was to provide it for all the students.”
Strube conducted her own research to examine her all-inclusive approach. She took every type of student into a programming course and after some time, she looked at their scores on a standardized math test.
“Their math scores went above what their predicted growth was supposed to be for every child,” Strube says. “So it’s for all students, not just students that are particularly good in math or science.”
Strube graduated from college with a B.S. in Biological Science and an education degree. She began her career teaching chemistry at Riverton High School, then taught two years of math before moving into teaching science courses, including applications in biology and chemistry, for three years.
She moved to Laramie and taught honors biology and physical science for three years at Laramie Junior High School before she was moved to Laramie High School where she taught geology, biology, chemistry and a conceptual physics class. She remained at LHS for four years before transferring to the UW Lab School, where she recently finished her fifth year.
“She is kind and generous in mentoring her student teachers and in partnering with other teachers in the school,” Hudson says. “Her attitude is positive, and her answer is almost always ‘yes’ when approached with a new idea.”
“The world could use more teachers like Mrs. Strube,” Hudson adds.
“The children that are in school right now, their future is in nanotechnology, biotechnology and artificial intelligence,” Strube says. “So the students that go into those fields will be secure.”
Strube says students will have to be prepared for jobs that don’t exist yet, and it’s extremely important to her to provide a cutting-edge education to all students.
“The sooner you start them, the more successful they’re going to be in the next wave of the future,” Strube adds.