The Presidential Award is a personification of my need to bring STEM education to all children. This award represents countless hours writing curriculum, assessments, brainstorming innovative ways to make use of minimal supplies, and evaluating the best teaching methods to achieve standards mastery. It stands for the thousands of students that have made me a better educator each year, and it celebrates the hard work in which we all have engaged to bring STEM to low-income communities.

Tolulola Odukoya Washington, DC | K-6, Science, 2018

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

Tolulola "Lola" Odukoya has been an educator for 10 years in DC Public Schools. She taught science for six years at Langdon Elementary School and for two years at Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School. For the remaining two years, she has served as an instructional coach, District Professional Development Leader, and currently as Manager of Assessment Innovations. A champion for STEM education, Lola developed robust STEM programs at Drew Elementary School. She implemented the first STEM fair, family STEM day, energy fair, recycling club, and robotics club. Her students were consistently involved with STEM projects. She has been an integral part of bringing environmental education awareness to the District of Columbia and has written science curriculum for DC Public Schools and the Office of the State Superintendent. Lola currently serves as an education consultant to summer camps and has participated in many panel discussions, including discussions on the state of STEM education for both Howard University and the National Institutes of Health. She served as a member of the National Science Teachers Association and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Lola earned a B.S., magna cum laude, in biology from Howard University and a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from American University. She is a certified secondary science teacher with an endorsement in elementary education.