The Presidential Award honors and celebrates innovative efforts by teachers that inspire student interest and critical thinking skills in science. I am honored and humbled to receive this award and cherish the support from students, colleagues, administrators, community members, and family that have made my efforts possible. This award epitomizes what is possible when individuals and groups collaborate to provide authentic opportunities for students that inspire intrinsic motivation.
Robin Ellwood has been teaching science at Rye Junior High School for 24 years. She currently teaches 8th grade science.
Robin strives to inspire student learning through inquiry and project-based opportunities that promote authentic application of STEM concepts. Students in Robin’s classes engage in discussion, hands-on manipulation of materials, transference of classroom skills to field-based investigations, and work with community members and experts to delve into local, regional, and global issues. Her students have built an underwater, remotely operated vehicle that was successfully deployed in Antarctica, and are currently installing a remotely operated surveillance camera to study biological, physical, and environmental dynamics within a secluded wetland ecosystem. Robin has received numerous grants, totaling in excess of $45,000 to support innovative projects and opportunities for students.
Robin earned a B.A. in zoology, a M.Ed. in science education, and a Ph.D. in science education. Robin is certified in general and biological science for grades 6–12. Robin has presented at local, regional, and national conferences on topics ranging from technology use in the classroom, incorporating cooperative learning and inquiry-based practices in the classroom, and describing her experiences on four deployments to Antarctica with polar scientists.