College genetics teacher Robin Hockey’s career has evolved into eighth-grade science classes, and now is propelling her to a national academy in Texas.
Going from college to middle school in the Adams 12 Five Star Schools was a natural progression for her.
“I had children and my life and goals changed. I decided to drop 20 grand and go back and get another master’s degree and my teaching license,” she said. “And then I fell in love with middle school, especially eighth grade, while I was subbing.”
Hockey is now a teacher at STEM Launch in Thornton. Knowing that the new STEM school was opening in the fall of 2012, she knew that’s where she wanted to be. She said she enjoys the STEM curriculum and the style of teaching.
“I love how as teachers we can relate science to real life,” she said. “I really like that kind of teaching, and it makes it more meaningful to the students.”
Hockey’s expertise in science has earned her a spot in the National Science Teachers Association’s New Science Teacher Academy Fellowship Program. The program chooses 240 science teachers across the nation, seven from Colorado, to participate in a year-long professional development to help promote quality science teaching, enhance teacher confidence and classroom excellence, and improve teacher content knowledge.
Hockey will also have the opportunity to attend the 2013 National Conference of Science Education in the spring in San Antonio.
“The conference will be a wonderful opportunity for me,” she said. “There will be special classes I will go to help me work on things and my teaching in the classroom.”
Hockey’s membership is being sponsored by Lockheed Martin. Emily Simone, Lockheed Martin’s director of global community outreach, said Lockheed Martin values providing training and resources to teachers so they are better equipped to teach the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
“We’re excited to partner with NSTA and support the fellows,” she said.
Hockey said she plans to implement the techniques, resources and knowledge she will gain in the program into her classroom. She believes the most important part of her job is teaching students to be critical thinkers.
“When students learn critical thinking skills, they can take that into the real world in whatever they choose to do,” she said. “They don’t have to be a scientist or an engineer, they can do anything professionally, but they will need to know how to make informed decisions. I working to teach them how to make their own determinations so they can be successful in life and be able to make life decisions.”