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2012 Fellows and Mentors

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Denise Absher
Davie County Early College High School
Davie County Schools
Mentor: Heather Mullin
Sponsor: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Teachers Training Teachers — Region 7

New Common Core Standards for Mathematics and English/Language Arts, and Essential Standards for Science and Social Studies have been adopted in North Carolina and will be implemented in classrooms across the state in the 2012-2013 school year. Ms. Absher will be a member of one of the teams recruited in each of the state’s eight educational regions to help facilitate this transition. These Kenan Fellows will partner with mentors from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to develop and implement training to assist teachers as they transition to the new standards. They will help plan training modules, lead teacher training sessions and act as coaches to other teachers in their regions. Their work will encourage best practices for utilizing new standards including inquiry, data literacy and technology to improve instruction in middle and high school classrooms.

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Willow Alston
Hoke County High School
Hoke County Schools
Mentor: Donna Albaugh
Sponsor: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Teachers Training Teachers — Region 4

New Common Core Standards for Mathematics and English/Language Arts, and Essential Standards for Science and Social Studies have been adopted in North Carolina and will be implemented in classrooms across the state in the 2012-2013 school year. Ms. Alston will be a member of one of the teams recruited in each of the state’ eight educational regions to help facilitate this transition. These Kenan Fellows will partner with mentors from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to develop and implement training to assist teachers as they transition to the new standards. They will help plan training modules, lead teacher training sessions and act as coaches to other teachers in their regions. Their work will encourage best practices for utilizing new standards including inquiry, data literacy and technology to improve instruction in middle and high school classrooms.

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Tomika Altman-Lewis
Burton Geoworld Magnet IB-PYP Elementary School
Durham Public Schools
Mentor: Barbara Bissell
Sponsor: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Common Core Curriculum Design - Math/Science

The new Common Core standards are designed to address the knowledge and skills students need to be prepared for college and careers in the 21st century. These standards will be implemented in North Carolina classrooms in the 2012-1013 school year. Ms. Altman-Lewis will bring her expertise as a classroom teacher to a team composed of curriculum specialists from the NC Department of Public Instruction and classroom math and science educators with expertise in curriculum and instruction. Together they will assess the need for new materials and develop “replacement units” focused on key topics within the Common Core curriculum. The lessons will serve as model instructional resources to guide teachers in effective delivery of historically challenging concepts to students. This collaboration will play a vital role in making the new standards “work” for teachers and will position Fellows on the leading edge of important changes in the way math and science are taught in our state and the nation.

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Lessie Anderson
Knightdale High School
Wake County Public School System
Mentors: Jane Woodall and Lee Ann Parrot
Sponsor: EMC
Engineering Efficiencies in Education

Ms. Anderson will serve as a Fellow with Mentors from EMC to learn about new tools used by global companies to promote efficiency, manage data, and improve outcomes in the information age. Early lean manufacturing processes originating in Japan are now manifest in programs like Sigma Six, used by EMC to address some of the challenges facing a high-tech, global corporation. Ms. Anderson will study how Sigma Six tools impact important new efforts to improve strategic planning, timing, analysis of data and the reduction of unnecessary cost and waste. She will learn how the theory is implemented in industry and develop engaging lessons that demonstrate the engineering and mathematics involved. Students will be encouraged to apply these methods to relevant projects of their own.

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Dr. Terry Anderson
Hoke County High School
Hoke County Schools
Mentor: Angela McNeill, Robeson Community College
Sponsor: National Science Foundation Noyce II Grant
Math and the Amazing Race

Kenan Fellows Master Teacher Dr. Terry Anderson has undertaken a five-year commitment to work with Robeson Community College (RCC) math instructors to develop exciting, new inquiry-based math lessons aligned with the new Common Core Standards. Using the extensive technical resources available at RCC, Dr. Anderson will work to identify applications of math that surround students everyday. He will collaborate to create problem-based math lessons which engage students in solving problems, making predictions and designing solutions, transforming the math classroom by encouraging teamwork and critical thinking to solve real-world problems. Dr. Anderson will spend the latter part of his fellowship collaborating with Kenan Fellows Program staff and university faculty to implement a strategy for disseminating the resources he develops to pre-service teacher education programs in the region. His designs will allow math teachers to provide students with lessons that foster an understanding of the relevance of math in the world around them.

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Mildred Bankhead-Smith
West Pine Middle School
Moore County Schools
Mentor: Dr. Erin White, Fayetteville State University
Sponsor: National Science Foundation Noyce II Grant
Developing an Integrated Course Learning Community

The small learning communities model is among the strategies advocated to improve student performance in secondary education. This model includes integrated course learning communities (LCs) in STEM that have real-life applications and an inquiry-based focus. Learning Communities are a linked set of at least three courses that explore a common theme. Research supports integrated course Learning Communities as a way to improve student engagement, retention and performance. Ms. Bankhead-Smith will participate in a five-year fellowship in which she will work closely with University College at FSU and with the Center for Promoting STEM Education and Research to demonstrate the need for an integrated course learning community model, as well as developing and implementing the model in an appropriate middle school setting. She will collaborate in the development of the necessary curriculum for the project, and compare LC to Non-LC student performance in STEM using mathematical modeling and bioinformatics tools. The latter part of her fellowship will be spent collaborating with Kenan Fellows Program staff and university faculty to implement a strategy for disseminating the resources she develops to pre-service teacher education programs in the region.

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Dora Barron
Westover High School
Cumberland County Schools
Mentor: Dr. Sambit Bhattacharya, Fayetteville State University
Sponsor: National Science Foundation Noyce II Grant
Applications of Robot Vision in Manufacturing

Robotics is often employed to expedite assembly line manufacturing or navigate areas difficult for humans to maneuver in. Ms. Barron and her mentor will study vision based robotics systems and explore how robot manipulation is guided by what the robot sees. She will explore ways that robots are able to use their “sight” to, for example, sort defective parts from the good ones or assemble components. She will develop robotics curriculum for implementation in high school classrooms. The latter part of her fellowship will be spent collaborating with Kenan Fellows Program staff and university faculty to implement a strategy for disseminating the resources she develops to pre-service teacher education programs in the region.

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Lauren Beeson
Durham School of the Arts
Durham Public Schools
Mentor: Dr. Josiah Knight, Duke University
Sponsor: NASA Flight Fellowship
Solar Energy for Space Travel

One of the largest challenges to habitability and mission performance in space is the requirement for durable and reliable sources of power. Energy for space vehicles is primarily provided by solar photovoltaic panels or by fuel cells. Ms. Beeson will team up with Dr. Josiah Knight of Duke University to learn about and consider the implications of highly-efficient generators in space. Dr. Knight’ research examines the potential for producing electricity for space vehicles using solar thermal radiation to power a liquid, vapor or gas cycle. He plans to construct and test the performance of small-scale electricity generation using solar thermal energy and combinations of existing technologies that might be combined to deliver electricity at the scale of tens of kilowatts. Upon selection of the most promising approach, a test apparatus will be constructed and its performance measured. Ms. Beeson will have the opportunity to assist in the construction and testing of this equipment. She will develop lessons and hands-on experiences that help students better understand photovoltaic panels, energy sources, energy efficiencies and current research in energy and space travel.

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Michael Belcher
Hillside New Tech High School
Durham Public Schools
Mentors: Dr. Michael Minion and Dr. Laura Miller, UNC Chapel Hill
Sponsor: Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI)
How Big and Small Animals Swim, Fly, and Pump Fluids

Michael Belcher will work with UNC Chapel Hill’ Mathematics Department to research how organisms interact with fluids. Integrating aerodynamics (the study of gases in motion) and hydrodynamics (the study of liquids in motion), he will study various transport mechanisms including swimming, flying or pumping in organisms of different sizes. Fluid behavior depends on scaling effects that determine what methods of locomotion and pumping will be viable for certain organisms. As some organisms increase in size, the methods of moving or moving through the fluid may change. Studying fluid properties such as velocity, pressure, density and temperature, and equations of fluid motion allows researchers to predict what types of mechanisms work for organisms of a particular size. Collaborating with Dr. Minion, Mr. Belcher will have the opportunity to use models and numerical simulations to better understand the fluid dynamic forces experienced by organisms. These model systems include: flight adaptations in the smallest flying insects, such as thrips and parasitoid wasps, and the mechanism of blood pumping in the embryonic and vertebrate hearts. He will also collaborate with Dr. Miller to investigate regime changes in the fluid dynamic environment of organisms as they grow or shrink in size over time.

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Geoffrey Belcher
Wake Forest-Rolesville High School
Wake County Public School System
Mentor: Julie Joslin
Sponsor: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Common Core Curriculum Design - English Language Arts/Social Studies

The new Common Core standards have been designed to clearly define the knowledge and skills students need to be prepared for college and work in the 21st century. The new Common Core standards will be implemented in North Carolina classrooms in the 2012-1013 school year. Mr. Belcher will bring his expertise as a classroom teacher to a team composed of curriculum specialists from the NC Department of Public Instruction and classroom English language arts and social studies educators with expertise in curriculum and instruction. Together they will assess the need for new materials and develop “replacement units” focused on key topics within the Common Core curriculum. The lessons will serve as model instructional resources to guide teachers in effective delivery of historically challenging concepts. This collaboration will play a vital role in making the new standards “work” for teachers and will position Fellows on the leading edge of important changes in the way math and science are taught in our state and the nation.

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Tara Blalock
West Johnston High School
Johnston County Schools
Mentors: Crystal Harden and Nicholas Hoffmann, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, UNC
Sponsor: NASA Flight Fellowship
STEM Resources Library for Formal and Informal Educators

The Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is the first full-service science center dedicated to promoting and interpreting contemporary science topics and content for both formal and informal educators. In this externship, Ms. Blalock will use Morehead’ extensive resources to develop focused high school curricula during a library-based summer science and enrichment program. She will actively engage in research for science education content and activities to enhance physical science resources for Morehead’ library. Specific topics will include simple machines, electricity and chemistry. Working with mentors and peer coaches from the Morehead staff on science education curriculum development, she will develop and pilot appropriate curricula utilizing NASA resources that will align these topics with national and state standards. She will learn first-hand about the scientific research process and its potential benefits, gain valuable skills in the interpretation and communication of contemporary science, and further her ability to communicate and teach complex science topics.

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Carrie Lynn Brewington
Hoke County High School
Hoke County Schools
Mentor: Paul Chavis, DuPont
Sponsor: National Science Foundation Noyce II Grant
Dupont: Fayetteville Works

The DuPont Fayetteville Works Plant has expanded to include the manufacturing of a wide variety of new films, fibers, and specialty chemicals that are used by homeowners, businesses, first responders, the military, and other consumers. Carrie Brewington will work directly with the Site Training Group lead by Paul Chavis. In this capacity, she will interact with all job types on the site: engineer, chemist, supply chain support roles, and the technicians who are the production experts on the shop floor and have the task of making the products at the site. DuPont’ staff will provide an experience rich in professional diversity and skills required for fulfilling roles. In addition, Ms. Brewington will create a curriculum based on her externship experience. The curriculum will focus on the science behind these products and careers within this industry.

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Bruce Bridges
Crest Middle School
Cleveland County Schools
Mentor: Charles Edwards, Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard and Winery
Sponsor: Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center
Biotechnology in North Carolina

Mr. Bridges will partner with Mr. Edwards, owner of Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard and Winery, to learn viniculture, the science of growing grapes and wine production. Viniculture is one of the earliest forms of biotechnology. The project will focus on agricultural biotechnology. During the summer externship, Mr. Bridges will experience the science and technology critical to daily operations of a vineyard. This may include monitoring and controlling pests and diseases, fertilization, irrigation, pruning and canopy management as well as monitoring fruit development. He will create lessons for the middle school science classroom that engage students with the scientific method as they explore real world challenges and opportunities associated with the growing ag-biotech industry in North Carolina.

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Ronda Bullock
Hillside High School
Durham Public Schools
Mentors: Dr. Kimberly Buczynski, Michael McBrierty, Biogen Idec; Dr. Kathleen Kennedy, NC Biotechnology Center
Sponsor: Biogen Idec
Biotech Drug Innovation

The biotechnology industry is making rapid progress in producing biological products from live cells with applications ranging from life-enhancing drugs to environmental waste removal. Biogen Idec, one of the world’s oldest and largest biotechnology companies, has been at the forefront of the exciting world of biopharmaceutical discovery, development and manufacturing. Ronda Bullock will partner with Biogen Idec mentors to develop cutting-edge curriculum featuring hands-on exercises that will better equip students to understand the biological, engineering and quality aspects of cellular production of biological molecules and evaluate the implications of these new processes in drug manufacturing. Students will be introduced to manufacturing processes for improving effective drugs. Mentors from Biogen Idec will work with Ms. Bullock to develop a curriculum unit tailored to the her interests and classroom needs.

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The Kenan Fellows Program is an initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science, and is generously supported by grants from business, foundations, government organizations, and individual partners.

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