GSK Helps Middle & High School Teachers Bring Nanotechnology to Wake County Classrooms

October 10th, 2016 by Amneris Solano

gsk_fellows-webRALEIGH, N.C., (Oct. 10, 2016) – The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership is pleased to announce it has received a $108,000 charitable grant from GSK to support six 2016–17 Kenan Fellows from the Wake County Public School System who are participating in nanotechnology research at N.C. State University’s ASSIST Center.

The teachers, known as GSK Kenan STEM Fellows, are designing hands-on lessons based on their lab work, which will be implemented in their classrooms and shared with other educators. They are part of a larger project spanning four North Carolina counties where a total of 12 Fellows with teaching assignments in middle and high school were provided with a university lab experience in designing wearable nano-devices and sensors to monitor the health of humans and animals.

“We all rely on great teachers in classrooms across the state to inspire North Carolina students to love and study math and science and ultimately, pursue careers in important STEM-related fields,” said Marti Skold-Jordan, Manager, US Community Partnerships, GSK. “The intensive nanotechnology training the Kenan Fellows will receive will help benefit a new generation of talented young scientists. GSK is delighted to support this great program.”

Working alongside researchers at the ASSIST Center, the teachers gained first-hand experience in using the engineering design process, and learned the science and research behind nanotechnology. In the spring, their students will participate in the One Health Challenge, a statewide competition that tasks high and middle school students with designing a wearable device to monitor the health of a human or animal based on environmental factors.

“Research shows students benefit when teachers engage in authentic science work experiences. By partnering with researchers teachers are able to deepen their content knowledge,” said Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership. “As a longtime supporter of our program, GSK recognizes the value of research experiences for teachers. GSK’s leadership level of support helps teachers create relevant learning experiences for students and inspires curiosity in science and math.”

The 2016–17 GSK Kenan STEM Fellows are: Eric Baker, Sanderson High School; Maria Eby, Hilburn Academy; Patrick Faulkner, Longview School; Peter Styliadis, Panther Creek High School; Thom Tomlison Jr., Vernon Malone College and Career Academy; and Caleb Zander, Wakefield High School.

“This project has been valuable on so many levels. Although I consistently ask my students to employ the Engineering Design Process in my classroom, this has been the first authentic experience that required me to employ the process myself,” said Maria Eby, who teaches sixth-grade math.

About GSK: One of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, GSK is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.  For further information, please visit www.gsk.com.

About the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership: Established in 2000 as an initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at N.C. State University, the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership addresses the critical need for high-quality professional development for educators, and is the largest (science, technology, engineering and math) STEM-focused teacher fellowship in North Carolina. The fellowships are made possible through the generous support of the program’s many corporate, education and foundation partners including GSK. Visit kenanfellows.org to learn more.