Cedar Valley science teacher receives NSTA Fellowship honor

img_6264-copyCedar Valley Middle School seventh grade science teacher Marla Menchaca has been named a Fellow in the 2016-2017 New Science Teacher Academy. Menchaca is one of 35 middle and secondary science teachers from across the nation to be selected as a participant in the yearlong program, offered by the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA).

Menchaca applied for the Fellowship as a means to get matched with a mentor who could help her close the gap in her instruction of differentiation.

“This is a second career for me and my second year in the classroom,” Menchaca said. “I want to increase techniques to make the classroom experience more rewarding.”

The Academy focuses on encouraging and supporting early-career science educators, according to the organization. Criteria to be selected for the program includes showing evidence of a solid science background and displaying a strong interest in growing as a professional science educator.

“The entire campus is proud of Ms. Menchaca for being selected as a Fellow in the 2016-2017 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy” Cedar Valley Principal Matt Groff said. “Her deep commitment to growing as a scientist and educator will undoubtedly inspire her students.”

Before teaching middle school science, Menchaca performed cancer and immunology research for the University of Texas.

“Middle school is where students start to get a foundation and understand what science is all about,” Menchaca said. “I love science and I love getting to share it with my students.”

As a Fellow of the Academy, Menchaca will participate in a number of science-related activities and professional learning opportunities, including:

  • A yearlong engagement with the New Teacher Center that includes e-mentoring with a discipline-specific mentor and access to facilitated, web-based curriculum devoted to content and classroom pedagogy,
  • Membership with full benefits to NSTA,
  • Access to NSTA Learning Center resources, online events, professional learning and connection with other educators,
  • Complimentary attendance and accommodations for the 2017 National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles and
  • Attendance at a Professional Learning Institute at the NSTA National Conference.

Lockheed Martin and Bayer USA Foundation are sponsors of the 2016-17 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy.

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