UGDSB teacher wins award for commitment to literacy, technology in science classroom

A teacher in the Upper Grand District School Board has won a prestigious award recognizing her innovation and passion for teaching science while incorporating technology and literacy in her lessons.

The Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario (STAO) will present Erin District High School’s Kendra Spira with the Irwin Talesnick Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science.

Among the many requirements for the STAO award are unique and extraordinary accomplishments in teaching science to students.

Over the past few years, Spira has been engaging her students and opening up new worlds of learning, by integrating technology into the science classroom, officials say.

Last year, she led a project that investigated how technology can be used effectively with applied-level learners. Teachers in science, geography, physical education and math explored how technology can help improve student engagement, literacy and increase the effectiveness of teaching practices.

Spira was also invited by Google to design a virtual field trip for Google Cardboard. Her class then piloted and participated in the virtual journey. Google has since launched this project as part of the Google Expeditions program.

As a literacy team member, Spira provided support for students struggling with the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test. She also incorporated literacy skills into her Grade 10 applied science course, leveraging the confidence her students feel in the science classroom to improve their literacy results.

Spira will be presented with the award on Nov. 10 at the STAO 2016 conference in Toronto.