Kristi Larson, a teacher at Mesa's ASU Preparatory Academy Polytechnic, was one of 20 educators from across the country chosen to take part in a research program provided by the Siemens STEM Academy, a partnership between the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the College Board.
The “Siemens Teachers as Researchers” (STARs) fellowship program allows teachers to engage in Research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
During the fellowship, Larson worked with a team of scientists and fellow educators to look at the fundamental structure of plant cell walls and how plant biomass can be converted into biofuels.
The program’s goal is to allow some of the nation’s brightest teachers to come together and collaborate with each other in order to help inspire their students to pursue STEM education and careers.
“I am so thrilled to have been selected as a Siemens STAR,” Larson said in a press release. “In order for students to be competitive in a 21st Century, global society, they need to build a solid STEM foundation. Bringing rich and varied experiences into the classroom is essential to developing these skills. I am looking forward to utilizing the tools, resources, and activities I learned at the STARs Academy to inspire my students as much as they inspire me each and every day.”