Apex Friendship High School Teacher Erin Lawrence Honored for Work in STEM Education

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Erin Lawrence, teacher at Apex Friendship School has received the 2017 Outstanding Educator Award (9-16) from the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (SMT) Center.   Ms. Lawrence was recognized on April 29 in Raleigh, N.C. at the annual SMT Celebration.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions by an educator in advancing STEM education in North Carolina.

“Ms. Lawrence’s dedication to her students and her vision for STEM education goes above and beyond,” said Dr. Sam Houston, CEO and president of the SMT Center. “We’re proud to recognize her accomplishments.”

As a member of the school’s Academy of Engineering, Ms. Lawrence utilizes a project-based learning approach that features students doing interdisciplinary units combining language arts, math, science and technology. A recent example was students sailing boats that they had designed and built in a small pool that was configured to represent the voyage of Odysseus’ return to Rhodes. For the culminating activity students prepare presentations that are judged and evaluated by outside audiences.

Ms. Lawrence has integrated authentic use of technology in her classroom. Her students routinely use devices for research, to collaborate among group members and for presentations. She flips her classroom; presenting the content of her classes by using videos that the students watch in their own time. She can then devote a greater amount of class time for collaboration and hands-on learning.

Erin Lawrence embodies the qualities that a model twenty-first century education requires; a passion for learning, an innovative, engaging teaching style, and a use of technology to maximize achievement for her students.

She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. She is also a Nationally Board Certified Teacher.

The N.C. Science, Mathematics, and Technology (SMT) Center is focused on improving education as a means of providing all students in North Carolina with the knowledge and skills to have successful careers, be good citizens, and advance the economy of the state. Promoting innovation and change in education, the SMT Center celebrates educational excellence in North Carolina by supporting educators, engaging students, and advancing the growing importance of having a STEM-educated workforce.

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Contact: Lisa Rhoades at 919/991-5111 or lrhoades@bwfund.org