Market Overview

Battelle Announces Winners of 2018 Ohio STEM Excellence Awards


The Ohio
STEM Learning Network
(OSLN) announced today the winners of the
"STEM Excellence Awards," a series of competitive awards that recognize
outstanding teachers, leaders, and advocates in the fields of science,
technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

The awardees were recognized last night during a reception for the 2018
Connections to Education Conference hosted by the Ohio Association for
Career and Technical Education and OSLN. The network was founded in 2008
and today represents 55 STEM schools across the state. Battelle
manages the Ohio STEM Learning Network as part of the company's
commitment to preparing the next generation of innovators.

Nominations were open to the public earlier this year. The OSLN team
selected this year's awardees from a field of more than 35 highly
qualified nominees.

"Ohio's national reputation as a place for innovative STEM education is
built on the hard work of educators across this state," said Aimee
Kennedy, Senior Vice President for Philanthropy and Education at
Battelle. "The awardees we recognize today each distinguished themselves
in their schools, communities and our state for exceptional dedication
toward delivering quality STEM education to every student in Ohio."

This year's awardees of the STEM Excellence Awards are:

Excellence in STEM Teaching Award

The Excellence in STEM Teaching Award recognizes a teacher who
exemplifies integrated, STEM-infused teaching strategies and classroom
innovation, and whose work has led to positive student learning
outcomes. This awardee engages students in inquiry-based learning to
develop creativity, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills.

Amanda Gillespie is the 7th grade engineering teacher at STEAMM
Academy at Hartford Middle School in Canton, Ohio.

If there was a word to describe Gillespie, it would be connector. She
creates equitable learning communities in her classroom where students
feel safe and like they belong. By doing this, the students are willing
to share their thinking and ideas and develop meaningful relationships.
She also connects her students to the real world. She works hard at
finding opportunities for her students to partake in 21st century
learning and experiences. For example, she recently connected a group of
STEAMM girls with other girls from various middle schools and spent the
day coding and talking to women professionals in STEM fields, discussing
the importance of computer programming. Amanda also collaborates with
the local hospital, Mercy Medical Center, providing an opportunity for
students to participate in a program that connects classroom instruction
to real life career pathways.

When she's not teaching, Gillespie demonstrates her excellent
communication skills by writing grants for her school and has generated
more than half a million dollars for her students. The money from these
grants provided needed hardware and professional development during the
transition to a STEAM school.

Excellence in STEM Leadership Award

The Excellence in STEM Leadership Award recognizes a school-level,
district, or regional leader with a proven track-record of developing
effective STEM programs. This awardee supports and encourages teachers
and schools to continually infuse STEM teaching strategies and embrace
classroom innovation.

Melissa Drury has been the Principal at Summit Road STEM
Elementary since 2014. Summit Road STEM Elementary is considered a
research and development site and has been recognized as a national
exemplar for elementary STEM education by the National Science

Drury charged teachers and students to fine tune the delivery of core
values such as collaboration, complex thinking, and communicating by
publishing design thinking and the process of solving real world
problems. This year, students were tasked with showcasing their learning
through public exhibitions of student learning—a key element of strong
STEM programs.

Through her leadership, Summit Road Elementary has a strong culture that
values inquiry, design thinking, and problem solving. This culture
begins with the selection of staff who are committed to the idea that
being a part of a research and development site means being immersed in
inquiry-based learning and living in the design cycle. Students and
staff regularly use and hone 21st century skills and are actively
engaged in the learning process. This past year, students worked on real
problems such as preserving our national parks, helping other children
around the world after the effects of tragic storms, staying engaged
during inside recess, and educating our community about our natural
wetlands and preservation efforts.

Drury's leadership and impact at Summit Road Elementary goes far beyond
her building, far beyond Reynoldsburg, Ohio. She is an example of a STEM
Leader who has had a national impact.

STEM Advocate Award

The Ohio STEM Advocate Award recognizes an Ohioan who has demonstrated a
passion for STEM education through public advocacy and participation in
leadership organizations that advance STEM for all.

Susan Stearns is the Assistant Director of Programming and
Development at Bowling Green's Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in
STEM Education.

She is a passionate advocate for STEM equity and access, always taking
the next step to bring even more students and teachers into STEM
experiences. At STEM in the Park, Stearns rallies more than 100
organizations, pulling together professionals from aviation to animal
sciences to build their STEM community.

The budget for the event tops $100,000, which she raises every year. She
also fundraises to provide transportation for area students to attend.

Stearns also was the lead writer on a grant proposal to the Army
Educational Outreach Program. They won the grant and founded the RiSE
program with Toledo and Springfield Public Schools. Through this work,
180 students conducted independent research projects, attended a student
symposium at Bowling Green, and presented their findings to university
faculty. For some of them, it was their first time walking a college

STEM Innovator Award

The Ohio STEM Innovator Award recognizes an Ohioan who has demonstrated
an outstanding contribution to the support of STEM education and
outreach within his or her region. This awardee is a leader that
identifies, supports, and promotes innovative practices that address
important challenges in expanding access to quality STEM education.

Matt Ehrhardt is the Assistant Director of the EHOVE Career
Center in Northwest Ohio.

Ehrhardt has displayed leadership in the advancement of STEM education
in several ways. This past year he was a driving force behind the
Regional Makerspace Teacher Academy, the first Ohio High School Drone
League, and the Cedar Point Maker Faire. With these efforts, he has
directly supported and encouraged educators to work in a more innovative
manner with STEM content. He is responsible for getting financial
support, managing the logistics and keeping all members informed and

Ehrhardt is passionate about developing and providing programs that
promote STEM for all, and particularly, girls. From supporting female
instructors and coaches to encouraging young ladies to participate in
programs, Ehrhardt works hard to include girls in innovative STEM fields
and projects. He also has grown community partnerships with supporters
such as NASA, Cedar Point and Buckeye Cable Sports Network.

About Battelle

Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to
solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national
laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and
development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical
services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in
Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national
security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental
industries. For more information, visit

View Comments and Join the Discussion!