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University of Iowa News Release

July 3, 2006

UI College of Education Grad Named 'Exemplary Elementary Science Teacher'

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has recognized Jeff Englert, a Cedar Rapids Johnson Elementary first-grade teacher and University of Iowa alumnus, as one of the top 14 Exemplary Elementary Science Teachers (K-5) in the country.

Robert Yager, UI professor emeritus of science education, recommended Englert for the award during the completion of his master's degree work last spring.

Yager said Englert was recognized because his teaching and structuring of learning materials more closely matched the visions in the National Science Education Standards. The goals for school science that underlie those standards emphasize educating students about scientific processes and principles to help enhance understanding of the natural world, economic productivity and intelligent discourse.

"The Exemplary Science Programs (ESP) was a national search for teachers and programs that most nearly characterized the visions in the National Science Education Standards. It was quite an honor to be selected for the program after extensive efforts to seek out exemplary situations. Several thousand were nominated," Yager said.

Englert's chapter appears in NSTA's ESP monograph series. The chapter, "Empowering Children," reports on investigations and activities while also suggesting ways instructors can effectively use student inquiry within the classroom to teach science and also meet district and national benchmarks. Englert collected data and documented specific examples from his classroom during a unit on butterflies. During the unit, he incorporated student inquiry and background into the learning process to supplement the district curriculum.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen J. Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu; Writer: Kelli Andresen.