Exemplifying outstanding pedagogy and content knowledge, this award affirms what I do with my students each day by engaging them in learning that inspires them to question, observe, analyze, and reflect in order to produce innovative solutions. It honors the mentors, colleagues, and students who have inspired, guided, and supported me to become the educator that I am today. Moreover, it embodies the esteem that our nation holds for the education of future inventors, scientists, and engineers.

Janice Mak Phoenix, AZ | K-6, Science, 2014

Janice Mak has been an educator for 16 years. In the coming year, she will take on an administrative role within her district. Most recently, she was a STEM teacher at Explorer Middle School and an instructional coach for her district’s K–6 gifted teachers. Previously, she taught at Fireside Elementary School, and abroad. Janice seeks to inspire wonder and ignite curiosity in her students. Her students have participated in robotics, the Mars Student Imaging Program, and the Honeywell Aerospace Challenge.  Janice is on the board of the Arizona Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). She is a National Science Teachers Association, Computer Science Teachers Association, and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics member. She is a trainer to develop science education capacity; a Code.org affiliate; and a peer reviewer with Achieve. Her STEM articles have been featured in publications and on her award-winning blog. She presents at the local, state, and national level on STEM-related topics and is the recipient of numerous grants. Janice has a B.A., magna cum laude, in linguistics from Rutgers University, a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from George Mason University, and is working on her doctorate in STEM education at Texas Tech University. She is certified in kindergarten through sixth grade education, K–12 gifted education, and K–12 reading in Arizona.