Four University of Wyoming Students Receive Storer Awards, Earn Opportunity to Teach Science Education

Four University of Wyoming students will gain experience teaching science — to elementary school students in the outdoors — in Saratoga this summer.Jennifer Andersen of Laramie; Andrea Leiferman of Casper; Katie Guerrieri of Jackson; and Rebekah Taylor of Kelly recently were named George B. Storer Foundation Scholars. In addition to receiving a financial award, the four will teach an outdoor science enrichment program as part of Carbon County School District 2’s summer school program.Andersen, Leiferman and Guerrieri received the College of Education’s outstanding undergraduate awards for their leadership and excellence in teaching. Taylor is this year’s outstanding graduate student in UW’s Science and Mathematics Teaching Center (S MTC) Natural Science Education Program.To prepare for their summer teaching assignment, the UW students will attend a science education training course at Teton Science Schools in Grand Teton National Park May 13-17. There, the students will focus on learning place-based education; how to teach science to children in the outdoors; and outdoor leadership, says Leslie Cook, a faculty member of Teton Science Schools’ Teacher Learning Center.“We do a lot of work to make sure that everything our scholars will be doing with students is relevant to their (students’) everyday life,” Cook says.With experienced instructors from Teton Science Schools, the four UW students will teach in teams during the summer school program for students in Carbon County School District 2 in Saratoga July 15-19.“We will be looking at wind energy as a natural resource and the movement of energy in ecosystems,&r dquo; Cook says of the learning that she described as hands-on and exploratory.As part of the program, UW students and Carbon County School District 2 students will visit a wind farm near Medicine Bow, tour the Sinclair Oil Refinery near Rawlins and even go fishing, Cook says. Fishing will give elementary school students an opportunity to understand how food chains work in streams.Information on the UW Storer Scholars is as follows:– Andersen expects to complete UW’s post-baccalaureate program in science education in May 2014. She received her master’s degree in botany from UW in 2005 and her bachelor’s degree in wildlife ecology and conservation from Northwest Missouri State University.– Guerrieri received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UW this spring. During her student teaching semester at Wyoming Indian Middle School, she taught in an after-school robotics program geared toward students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.– Leiferman is expected to receive her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Wyoming/Casper College Center in May 2014. She received her associate’s degree in elementary education from Casper College in 2012. She also has an associate in applied science degree in professional photography technology from Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie, Minn.–Taylor will receive her master’s degree in natural science education from UW in May 2014. She received two bachelor’s degrees — one in outdoor recreation, parks and tourism; and the other in psychology — both from Southern Utah University. Taylor also is a graduate of the Teton Science Schools’ year-long graduate program.

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