I remember as a child observing a dandelion gone to seed, making a wish, and realizing that its design is what enabled it to find a new place to take root. Teachers aim to do the same; to design experiences that fill a child's mind with the skills that will empower them to grow. Winning this award celebrates the aggregate nature of becoming an effective science educator. I value each person who has played a role in enriching my work and has helped me plant those seeds.

Megan Bartley Benzonia, MI | 7-12, Science, 2017

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

Megan Bartley has 26 years of experience, teaching at Detroit Country Day School, Bellaire Community Schools, and Glen Lake Community Schools in Michigan. She currently teaches 10-12th-grade Chemistry, Advanced Placement Chemistry, and Physics at Benzie Central High School, where she has taught for two years. Megan uses modeling instruction in her classroom, beginning each unit with a lab or demonstrations so students can observe a natural phenomenon. From there, students are given tools to make observations, predictions, and eventually test. She believes this is a truly exciting way to teach. Megan spends each summer facilitating workshops for the American Modeling Teachers Association. In 2016, she was accepted into the National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Teachers summer fellowship program at Michigan Technological University, where she conducted research in atmospheric science and wrote lessons. Megan also provides professional development on shifting paradigms in assessment, where she promotes practices that support cognitive development and a learner's journey toward expertise. Megan earned a B.S. in biology from Western Michigan University in 1993 and has a Michigan DA-DX certification, which enables her to teach all sciences grades 7-12.