A central Indiana educator has received a major award. Kristen Poindexter, who teaches kindergarten at Spring Hill Elementary School in Indianapolis, is the winner of the 2014 Shell Science Teaching Award from the National Science Teachers Association. June 7, 2014

News Release

ARLINGTON, Va. – Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association announced that Kristen Poindexter, a kindergarten educator and science coach at Spring Mill Elementary School in Indianapolis, Ind. is the recipient of the 2014 Shell Science Teaching Award. Poindexter received her award in April at a special banquet and ceremony at the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Boston.

“Science education combines the use of observation, intuition, experimentation and analysis – all necessary skills for independent and critical thinkers,” said Dr. Frazier Wilson, Vice President, Shell Oil Company Foundation and Director, Social Investment, Shell Oil Company.

“As our society becomes increasingly dependent on technology, these skills create the foundation for science careers, as well as scientific thinking, to bear on issues that impact all citizens. As Shell celebrates the 23nd anniversary of the Shell Science Teaching Award, we salute Kristen Poindexter for inspiring the next generation of science innovators that will help meet future global energy needs.”

Poindexter has earned numerous awards and accolades for giving her young students several unique learning experiences in science and opportunities to present what they have learned to adults. Her students serve as citizen scientists when they study and track the migration of monarch butterflies and report their findings. They study and grow plants and do hands-on activities in their classroom greenhouse, which Poindexter purchased using grant funding she obtained. Her students also have lessons in an outdoor science lab and contribute to a compost box in their classroom.

In a unit based on “The Three Little Pigs,” students actually test the materials mentioned in the story to determine which would be the best to use to build a sturdy house – not just in their area, but also around the world. They also visit Habitat for Humanity to learn about home construction in their community.

A popular presenter at education conferences, Poindexter has served as a coach and mentor in her district, her state, and around the country. She collaborates with district directors to develop science curriculum and create and deliver professional development experiences for teachers. The professional development videos she has helped to produce have been used in workshops in her state and viewed by many teachers online as well.

“I am inspired by the skill, enthusiasm and passion demonstrated by Ms. Poindexter. She is a shining example of excellence in science education,” said NSTA Retiring President Bill Badders. “On behalf of NSTA, I offer my congratulations and thanks to Ms. Poindexter for her hard work and commitment to her students.”

Poindexter received the Shell Science Teaching Award for her positive impact on her students, school and community through exemplary classroom science teaching. She received a $10,000 cash prize from Shell and an all-expense paid trip to attend the NSTA National Conference.

In addition to Poindexter, two finalists were selected. Shawndra Fordham, a science teacher at Rock Canyon High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo. and Jose Rivas, as science teacher at Lennox Math, Science and Technology Academy in Lennox, Calif., received all-expense paid trips to attend the conference and were recognized for their achievements at the awards banquet and ceremony in Boston.

For more information about the Shell Science Teaching Award and the NSTA Teacher Awards program, please go to http://www.nsta.org/about/awards.aspx?lid=tnav.

About NSTA

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes more than 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

About Shell Oil Company

Shell's commitment to community and social responsibility has been in place for more than 50 years. During this time, we have contributed more than a billion dollars to support community, health and welfare, environmental, arts and cultural activities, various educational initiatives, including minority education, and diversity and inclusiveness programs in Houston and the U.S.

Source: Shell Oil Co.

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