Herald uses current and innovative technology to help students make significant connections to the sciences. Recently, she has worked with the National Science Foundation in using sensors and probes to collect data that specifically uploads into certain websites students can use to manipulate their data to complete their lab reports. “I honestly can say that not once have I visited her classroom [when] all students were not engaged while performing labs or activities using probes or sensors,” says her principal.
She is regarded as a leader in the state and nation for her innovative strategies, techniques, publications, and presentations, and has received multiple awards, including a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2005. In addition, she works tirelessly with Preservice science teachers at Kansas State University’s College of Education, including hosting a 16-week internship for them in her classroom.
Herald has played a major role in planning a very successful summer STEM program that has been grant- funded for the past two summers in her district and has partnered with Kansas State University to provide an annual summer opportunity for more than 150 students in grades 6–9 in the district. “Mrs. Herald is not just about letting the students have fun with the equipment. She is intent on ensuring that the students are making connections between the data they've collected and the big ideas in science,” says Lou Ann Getz, clinical instructor at Kansas State University’s Professional Development School.
“NSTA awardees represent the best and brightest in science education,” said NSTA President Dr. Karen L. Ostlund. “We congratulate Ms. Herald for her lifelong commitment to science education and for her innovative and creative approach to teaching our students science.”
Herald received $3,000 in Vernier products, a $1,000 cash award and $1,500 toward expenses to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education.
NSTA encourages science educators to apply for its 2014 teacher awards. Applications and information can be found online at http://www.nsta.org/about/awards.aspx.