Two Valley teachers have been selected to join 24 others from 13 states to attend a summer science, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program in Tennessee.
Kristina Rogers, a science teacher at Lewisburg High School, and Adam Steininger Jr., a physics, engineering and astronomy teacher at Midd-West High School, were selected by the SEDA-Council of Governments to attend at no cost the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory summer STEM programs
They will spend one week in July working with scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory developing STEM-related curriculum in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
“On behalf of the SEDA-COG Board of Directors, we congratulate Ms. Rogers and Mr. Steininger for being selected to attend this excellent program made possible by the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Education is about much more than knowledge — it’s having the passion to apply it and to share it with their students. We believe these teachers will return with even more tools to teach and will continue to build a firm STEM foundation for their students,” SEDA-COG executive director Bill Seigel said.
A former engineer, Steininger, 28, completed his teacher certification from Susquehanna University and started teaching at Midd-West High School where he has been employed for three years.
“I enjoyed physics, so I was looking at careers that dealt with a physics background. With teaching, I get to interact with students, and share my passion for physics,” he said. “I like that every day’s different, and I get to make a meaningful impact on our students’ lives.”
Physics, Steininger said, is the “best of both worlds” of math and science. “You can apply it and see it in everyday life. It’s everywhere — from vehicles to structures, weather, astronomy, energy and more.”
His class is working on a rollercoaster project where they construct a model and explain the physics behind it.
“Sometimes, I ruin amusement parks for my students,” he said. “They’ll go and say, ‘Mr. Steininger, all I could think about was the physics behind it.’”
Midd-West High School recently won a STEM competition at the Bloomsburg Fair, and the students are headed to the state STEM competition this month after winning a regional competition in February at the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit. Steininger said the summer program he’ll be attending will help keep up the momentum.
“This summer’s opportunity will provide me with more resources and knowledge that I can share with my students that can help them prepare for STEM fields,” he said.
Rogers, 45, is a Muncy resident, and has been a science teacher for more than 15 years. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Allegheny College and her teaching certification from the University of Pittsburgh. She had worked at Loyalsock Township High School, and started at Lewisburg last year.
“I’m excited to learn more about STEM real-world application and bringing some techniques that the kids can investigate and use in the classroom,” she said. “I like to help students uncover information, and apply that knowledge to any situation by investigating and solving problems.”