Waterville teacher competes for lab makeover

A science teacher at Waterville Junior High School is one of 17 teachers nationally in the running for a science lab makeover valued at $20,000.

Robin Kennedy is a regional winner in a competition sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association and Shell Oil Company that challenged middle and high school science teachers to offer their students laboratory experiences while working with limited resources.

The grand-prize winner in the Shell Science Lab Challenge will receive the $20,000 lab makeover, which comes in the form of grants to purchase science lab equipment and classroom resources.

Kennedy set herself apart in the competition by highlighting how she coaches her students to use recycled and everyday materials to conduct in-depth scientific investigations, according to the science teachers association. Students, for example, recently created race cars from such materials to learn the laws of motion.

As part of the competition, Kennedy had to prove to judges that her school’s science lab resources were indeed limited.

As a regional winner, Kennedy and Waterville Junior High School will receive a $3,000 prize package that includes $2,000 in grants for lab equipment purchases, a $300 gift certificate to the National Science Teachers Association bookstore and paid registration for two teachers to attend a National Science Teachers Association conference.

Judges will select the grand prize winner from five national winners.