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Kyrene teacher named a finalist for STEM Superhero Award


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  • Rosalie Hirano/Kyrene School District

Monica Crowder

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee has notified Monica Crowder, a teacher and curriculum specialist for the Kyrene School District, that she has been named a finalist for a STEM Superhero Award.  The Award program is presented by Freeport-McMoRan to highlight excellence and innovation in STEM teaching throughout Arizona.

Ms. Crowder was nominated by her peers, Kathy Clark Couey, Elizabeth Snyder and Tara Dale.  In their nomination, they emphasized her enthusiasm and willingness to collaborate on STEM projects for students.

Kyrene teacher named a finalist for STEM Superhero Award MonicaCrowderHPCited in the nomination form was how Ms. Crowder creates engaging learning opportunities for students.   After returning from the Innovation Arizona Summit, she worked with one teacher on a first programming experience in writing code, infused with inspiration from people in the field and role models like Chris Bosh and Will.i.am, that challenge the stereotype that coding is just for nerds.  Ms. Crowder’s goal for this year is to encourage the teaching of coding/computer programing in all of our schools.

She was instrumental in providing professional development for teachers on STEM related topics, training 4th grade teachers on “Engineering is Elementary” and provided a school kit with all the resources necessary to share with students.

Commenting on what makes Ms. Crowder special, they said, “She is devoted to creating resources that will get every teacher involved in creating a 21st century learning environment where students’ abilities to communicate, collaborate, think critically and creatively are stimulated in an innovative and inviting environment.”

Ms. Crowder received her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and her Masters of Science in Elementary Education—Science Specialist Option from Arizona State University.  She has over 25 years of teaching experience, including 20 in Kyrene.

She has been invited to the “STEM Awards Superhero Ceremony” on November 12 at the Arizona Science Center.  If selected, she will be eligible for various prizes that include event tickets, merchandise and grant funding.