Nancy Foote, a science teacher at Sossaman Middle School in Queen Creek, AZ has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Gustav Ohaus Award. The award has been presented annually since 1969 to recognize innovations which have the potential to improve science teaching at the elementary, middle or high school level.
Ms. Foote was selected for her "Can't Buy Me Time" lesson that aims to maximize the effectiveness of classroom time. Ms. Foote relies on a number of methods, all designed to cut down on common, everyday classroom distractions in order to maximize learning opportunities in and out of her classroom.
Beginning the moment her students take their seats, Ms. Foote maximizes her classroom time. To warm her students up for a math-heavy course, she assigns quick, fun "brain games", or current events articles focusing on the worldwide scientific community. Doing this allows Ms. Foote time for administrative work, while engaging her students in thoughtful contemplation and, later, discussion. After this, she records her lectures and assigns them as homework, freeing up her classroom time for activities centering around the prior day's lecture. In doing this, Ms. Foote has been able not only to get her students excited about learning, but also to provide a more relaxed, hands-on environment that ultimately results in higher test scores.
As part of the award, Foote has received a personalized Gustav Ohaus Award, a $1,500 cash prize and a trip to the 2017 National Conference of the National Science Teachers in Los Angeles, CA. Sossaman Middle School will also be the recipient of $1,000 worth of OHAUS scales and balances, which will be utilized in various science courses.