UHCL double alum receives Shell Urban Science Educator award
University of Houston-Clear Lake double-alumna Selene Verhofstad was recently honored for excellence as an educator with the Shell Urban Science Educator Development Award.
Verhofstad is in her eighth year of teaching science and chemistry at Dobie High School in Pasadena I.S.D. She received the award through the National Science Teaching Association, which allowed her to attend a conference in Houston and attend workshops with other science educators from around the country for professional development.
"When I was a student at UH-Clear Lake, I learned about brain and learning development, so I really liked the sessions I attended called 'Brain Breaks,'" she said. "During the pandemic, we all felt fatigued and tired. Students were all used to being on Zoom. When we came back, teachers never knew if they were really paying attention or not. We talked about the transition back to face-to-face teaching, breaking down the material, and presenting it in chunks. Kids can't listen to a 40-minute lecture and understand everything."
She added that as a UHCL student, she had learned to design her curriculum around her students and their needs. "The curriculum should not be the same every year," she said. "Between going to conferences like this and my classes at UHCL, I learned more about my students and wrote my own curriculum. I created one that is interesting to them and I hope they want to keep learning science."
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