Bolsa Grande High School teacher Kathryn Beck was one of eight teachers from across the state to be named a 2017 finalist for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This award is the highest honor given in the nation for math and science teachers.
Beck, who joined the Garden Grove Unified School District in 2004, was named a finalist in the Science category, and credited for promoting cooperative learning through table talks and group discourse as well as developing innovative and rigorous curriculum for Advanced Placement Physics courses.
She also was commended for an after-school Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) class she offers, which gives students unique hands-on opportunities to learn STEM concepts in areas like circuitry, rocketry, and other 21st century skills. The program is designed to help encourage female interest in STEM industries, and students even had an opportunity to use chemistry to create their own lip gloss. Beck developed the enrichment class with support from the Orange County Department of Education.
For the past 13 years at Bolsa Grande High School, Beck has taught several levels of Advanced Placement Physics, Chemistry, Physical Science, Life Science, Algebra, Pre-Calculus and Advanced Algebra with Trigonometry.
As a state finalist, Beck’s application now moves on for review by the National Science Foundation who administers the PAEMST award on behalf of the White House office of Science and Technology Policy.