Carson, Calif. (May 29, 2018) – Mark Parker, a science teacher at Carson Street Elementary STEAM Academy in Carson has been named a regional winner in the Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge. Sponsored by Shell Oil Company and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the competition encouraged K-12 science teachers who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources, to share their approaches for a chance to win a school science lab makeover support package. Parker is one of 39 regional winners named, from which three grand prize winners will be selected.
Mark Parker is the only elementary school teacher that won this prestigious award in the greater Los Angeles area. He is a National Board Certified Teacher and just won the Teacher of the Year Award from the city of Carson (May 21, 2018). Parker is on the Local District South Science Leadership Team in the Los Angeles Unified School District; the team develops NGSS Standards-based curriculum maps and resources for area schools to guide instruction. Carson Street STEAM Academy just became a Practitioner 3.0 school.
We are a school that cultivates effective 21st Century skills in all areas infusing digital technology across the curriculum. We have gone green by collaborating and sharing ideas digitally with all stakeholders at our school; we use tools such as Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, the Remind App that communicates with parents and staff instantly, Seesaw (digital portfolio system that the teacher, students, and parents use), and Schoology (a learning management system and virtual learning environment for K-12 schools that allows users to create, manage, and share content and resources).
Mark, along with his colleagues, collaboratively plan and implement innovative programs such as “May the Fourth Be with You Day” (teachers, parents, and students spend the day participating in engineering and STEAM-related, hands-on activities). Students participate in many robotics competitions on campus as well.
"We are extremely proud of this year’s regional winners. Their innovative approaches, creative ideas, and unwavering commitment to give their very best to their students—and to society, as they engage and motivate the STEM leaders of tomorrow—is commendable and inspiring,” said Dr. Frazier Wilson, Director, Shell Workforce Development & Diversity Outreach. “We are so pleased to have the opportunity to partner with teachers to help in furthering quality science education in the classroom.”
To enter the Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge, K-12 science teachers located in select school districts near Shell assets were asked to describe their school’s current laboratory resources, explain why laboratory upgrade support is needed, and describe their approach to science education instruction utilizing their school’s current lab facilities. A panel of science educators then reviewed and selected the top entries. The regional winners each received a school science lab makeover support package valued at $10,000 (for the elementary and middle levels) and $15,000 (for the high school level).
“These science teachers have implemented truly remarkable science programs, providing high-quality lab experiences for their students with very little resources, often using their own funds to acquire them,” said Dr. David Evans, NSTA Executive Director. “We commend all of the regional winners for their creativity, resourcefulness and commitment to their students.”
Parker now advances to the national phase of the competition, where he will have a chance to win an additional $5,000 of support to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in St. Louis, Missouri, April 11-14, 2019. The three grand prize winners and their principals will be honored at the Shell reception and Teachers Awards Gala, taking place during the conference.
To view the list of 2018 Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge Regional Winners and for more information about the Challenge, visit the competition web site.
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence in science teaching and learning, preschool through college. NSTA’s membership includes approximately 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business representatives, and others involved in science education.
About Shell Oil Company
Shell’s commitment to community and social responsibility has been in place for more than 50 years. During this time, we have contributed more than a billion dollars to support community, health and welfare, environmental, arts and cultural activities, various educational initiatives, including minority education, and diversity and inclusiveness programs in Houston and the U.S.
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