2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching
Each year the President of the U.S. recognizes outstanding K-12 science
and math teachers throughout the country. One math and one science
educator is chosen from each state who exemplifies deep content
knowledge combined with the ability to motivate students in science and
Laurie McCabe finds that every year her students’ favorite activity is dissecting owl pellets to learn how owls digest their prey, which is swallowed whole. She said, “Students enjoy it because it is interesting and hands-on, and they work cooperatively in small groups.” McCabe relies on pre and post assessments to guide her lessons, which are inquiry-based, requiring students to draw their own conclusions and problem solve.
In class, I always explain to my students how we wouldn’t have the inventions or understanding that we do today without pioneers from our past, who made several mistakes before succeeding. In fact, when my students conduct science experiments, I remind them that their hypothesis does not have to be correct. My students are taught to approach learning the same way I do, with an open mind and a big eraser!