TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – More than 100 teachers from across northeast Oklahoma participated in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math training during Cherokee Nation’s annual Teachers of Successful Students conference.
The sixth annual TOSS conference took place June 6-7 in Tahlequah at no cost to the 140 teachers who attended.
The two-day training was held at Northeastern State University and included remarks by Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Tribal Councilor and Carl Albert State College Campus Director Bryan Warner, and Chief of Staff and Oklahoma House Representative Chuck Hoskin. It also included teacher workshops on everything from reading strategies and using archery to finding STEM activities on a shoestring budget.
“Many schools don’t have the funding to send teachers to fee-based STEM trainings, so the Cherokee Nation is helping these classroom teachers by providing them with free resources,” Tribal Councilor Warner said. “It not only counts toward professional development hours and enhances learning, but also helps students down the line in their jobs and career paths.”
The tribe also awarded $10,000 total in Creative Teaching Grants to split among 10 teachers that can be used to start STEM projects in their classrooms in the coming school year.
Cleora Public School’s second-grade teacher Deanna Gordon was awarded $1,000 and said she hopes it makes science more interactive for her students.
“This grant is going to make it possible to make science different than what comes from the textbook,” Gordon said. “I am working on hands-on science experiments that involve butterflies and things that can get my students active in learning.”
The teachers receiving $1,000 grants:
- Tenkiller Public School’s Tonya Moreno for “Coding Station”
- Tenkiller Public School’s Samantha Davis for “Wonder Workshop”
- Pryor Public School’s Jeanine Clark for “A Smart Garden”
- Tahlequah Public School’s Josh Davis for “Engineering and Energy”
- Bluejacket Public School’s Tracy Mendez for “Put an A in STEM”
- Tenkiller Public School’s Sinea Girdner and Joleta Cole for “Butterfly Gardens”
- Stilwell Public School’s Angie Catron for “A High Altitude Balloon Project”
- Bluejacket Public School’s Shawn Martin for “STEM Lab Laser Cutter”
- Justus-Tiawah Public School’s Christy Sterba for “Classroom Robotics”
- Cleora Public School’s Deanna Gordon for “Experiencing Science”
– Cherokee Nation release