Susan Carter, a kindergarten teacher at Glenridge Elementary School in the Clayton School District, was one of 12 top educators chosen as a first-place winner in the second annual PBS Teachers Innovation Awards. The award recognizes educators’ creative and inventive use of public media to engage students and improve learning. First place was awarded to one teacher from each of 12 subject and grade-level groupings.Sponsored by The Henry Ford and SMART Technologies, the award honors teachers who continuously strive to inspire young minds and cultivate the nation’s next generation of innovators and leaders.
Carter’s winning entry demonstrated how she used the PBS programs Curious George and Design Squad to introduce engineering concepts to her kindergarten students. She searched for engineering-themed segments of the series online through the PBS Teachers website (www.pbs.org/teachers). After viewing children on the television shows solve building dilemmas and design structures with candy and sticks, Carter encouraged her students to draw blueprints and then make their own structures out of materials in the classroom. In her accompanying video, one boy designs and builds a Star Wars-style spaceship, and a girl draws and builds a dolphin house.
Says Carter, “There are so many resources out there, but PBS Teachers is a known, reliable, trusted place to find them. What’s so neat about the PBS Teachers service is that I can search for and use just what I need. The kids were so interested in building and were already making things out of blocks, Legos and paper. I was able to search engineering topics for kindergartners, then show them two- or seven-minute videos of real kids solving engineering problems.”
Carter is a resident of St. Charles. Her entry and video can be seen here:http://www.pbs.org/teachers/innovators/gallery/2011/entries/751/
As a first-place winner, Carter will receive a weeklong “Innovation Immersion Experience” with other winners at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, a SMART Slate wireless slate, free enrollment in a national PBS TeacherLine online professional development course, and a tote bag of PBS educational resources.
The Nine Network of Public Media’s on-air content for children has long been recognized for its quality and integrity. Every day the Nine Network broadcasts 32½ hours of outstanding children’s programming on Nine PBS and Nine Kids, and offers activities and resources for children and parents online at www.nineNet.org. Curious George airs Monday-Friday at 7:00 a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. on Nine PBS. Design Squad can be seen online at http://pbskids.org/designsquad/.