The Presidential Award is an incredible and humbling honor for an elementary science teacher. Through my work as a trainer, I have been able to work and collaborate with remarkable educators who inspired and helped me develop strategies and skills to be the teacher I am today. The Presidential Award will open doors for me to meet and develop relationships with top educators across the nation. I am overjoyed to be rewarded for doing what I love: inspiring the future of our nation in STEM.

Shelly Sparrow Mishawaka, IN | K-6, Science, 2016

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Shelly Sparrow is in her 27th year teaching for School City of Mishawaka. She currently teaches all subjects of second grade at Twin Branch Elementary School, where she has worked for seven years. Shelly has been the recipient of many grants and awards that fuel her passion for STEM education. Her students learn to code and program robots, design and build prototypes for engineering challenges, and incubate eggs and hatch chicks that can be viewed from home through a live stream. Shelly also envisioned and started the first summer STEM Camp for elementary students with the approval of her school corporation. Shelly is a kit trainer for the Indiana Science Initiative and a science mentor through Purdue University. Kit training allows her to work with teachers across the state to develop inquiry-based science skills and utilize scientist notebooks. As a science mentor, she works closely with new teachers to develop skills and best practices to aid teacher retention in STEM. She is also a trainer for the National Math and Science Initiative’s Laying the Foundation program. She has presented for the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers at the state level, and given multiple local presentations. Shelly earned a B.S. in elementary education with a kindergarten endorsement from Ball State University, and is currently pursuing her STEM Teaching Certification.