Teacher Wins Education Fellowship ; 'I Have a Passion for Science and I Want My Students to Share It'

By Ranker, Luke | The Topeka Capital-Journal, July 5, 2016 | Go to article overview

Teacher Wins Education Fellowship ; 'I Have a Passion for Science and I Want My Students to Share It'


Ranker, Luke, The Topeka Capital-Journal


The moment Sara Hettenbach stepped into a classroom, she knew she had found her calling.

As a biology major at the University of Kansas, she planned on going to medical school. That changed after she joined the school's UKanTeach program. On her first school visit, she taught elementary students about finger prints.

"I could see the kids getting excited about science and I had an 'Aha!' moment," she said. "I have a passion for science and I want my students to share it."

Hettenbach, now a science teacher at Washburn Rural High School, hopes to find new and creative ways to bring that passion to the classroom with a science-teaching fellowship that will make available thousands of dollars in grants and resources for training and classroom supplies during the next five years.

The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation is an organization that encourages talented young math and science educators and seeks to improve K-12 education in those subjects. Through annual meetings, training and collaboration with science experts and teachers from across the country, Hettenbach will hone her teaching skills. After completing the five-year program, she will be eligible for other continued programs and grants.

"I'm really excited for the camaraderie and amazing energy of teachers from all over," she said.

Hettenbach, who just finished her first year of teaching, made the cut of just over 30 teachers nationwide after a rigorous application process that involved multiple interviews.

Only two teachers currently working in Kansas have participated in the program. …

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