Watershed Voice May 2012 Ophelia

Watershed Voice
Summer 2012
Beyond Books

More Awards for a Devoted Maryland Teacher 

2012 High School PASCO STEM Educator Award winner, Ophelia Barizo.
Award-winning teacher Ophelia Barizo with students at CBF's Clagett Farm. Photo by CBF Staff.

The name Ophelia Barizo is familiar with all of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's environmental educators in Maryland. For the past 13 years Ophelia has organized field experiences for her students on a variety of CBF field programs. Whether they are at Clagett Farm or on the Snow Goose boat in Baltimore City, Ophelia's Highland View Academy students reap the benefits of her passion for hands-on learning. 

This past March, Ophelia's ability to create meaningful learning experiences was recognized at the National Science Teacher Association's (NSTA) conference. At the conference she was presented with the 2012 High School PASCO STEM Educator Award. Each year only two teachers are selected from across the United States for this prestigious award. Recipients are teachers that implement innovative inquiry-based, technology infused STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) lessons in their teaching. This was not Ophelia's first recognition of excellence. At last year's NSTA conference she received the high school NSTA/DCAT Making a Difference Award. For this award she had to demonstrate innovative and effective teaching strategies combined with a science program that has influenced students to explore and investigate science and its application to global problems.    

Ophelia had this to say about her award, "CBF's field programs and partnerships with Chesapeake Bay Trust and other local donors have played a big role in STEM education in my classroom. You share in this award, too!  Getting students out to have hands-on field experiences develops values about the environment and important critical thinking skills. With the PASCO award, we will be able to procure probes that will enhance data collection in the lab as well as outdoors."
 
Congratulations Ophelia! We'll see you and your students out on the Bay again soon.

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