Elana Slagle, Starfish Education
2018 Award Recipient
Nominated by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Elana Slagle, Starfish Education, has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 K-12 STEM Engineering Teacher of the Year in recognition of her many contributions to the education of K-12 students. She works with K-12 schools to develop and test new STEM curricula and provides professional development for Puget Sound area teachers on how to incorporate STEM into their daily lessons.
She is involved with four specific activities that demonstrate exceptional performance in improving K-12 STEM education. They are Lindbergh Electric Airplane Flight (LEAF) STEM Challenge, curriculum development for the Washington Informal Science Education (WISE) Consortium, serving on the Champion’s Board for the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP), and serving on the Educational Advisory Board for the Museum of Flight. The LEAF STEM Challenge is an aircraft design competition for junior high and high school students. They are given an electric motor and design constraints, and then asked to design an electric airplane to compete against other teams. The student teams are required to document their work, present to a panel of judges, and demonstrate the capability of their airplanes to carry a payload.
The WISE curriculum for grade school students requires the students to design and build straw rockets. These students then conduct a series of rocket launches to track the impact of different design features (size, weight, thrust, etc.) and plot the results. The NGCP provides a math-centered cryptography project that helps the girls use and refine math skills and identify potential STEM careers by teaching them how to make, break, and decipher codes.
She is an active Educator Associate of AIAA and has served as the National STEM Chair. She received the National Chairman’s Award for her work in STEM education in 2014.