2016 California State Science Fair
Science Fair Teacher of the Year — Junior Division

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The award citation at the Awards Ceremony reads:

This year’s Junior Division Science Fair Teacher of the Year has been sending students to the California State Science Fair since 2012. As the only science teacher in their school, this year’s winner has set up a system to support students in science fair, beginning in kindergarten. This supported progression of students over the course of their K-8 education has made our winner an esteemed mentor not only for students, but also for staff who teach younger students. Science fair at this teacher’s school has become so articulated that 7th and 8th grade students familiar with the science fair process serve as judges for the younger children on campus, creating a community of scientifically-minded students.

This year’s Science Fair Teacher of the Year aims to teach their students in the way they wish they had been taught themselves. To our winner, this means embracing mistakes, since that is how we learn, and giving it a try, since you never know what just might work. This year’s winner runs a homework club for students on campus who need more support, and students have made it known that without this teacher’s support, they would not have made it to the state science fair.

When we asked this teacher why they think they were nominated for this award, they responded, “Because I’m mom. Because I love them. The kids are more important to me than my job.” Today’s winner is so dedicated to their students and their school, that they, in fact, have returned to their school site already for a back to school night event, and are unfortunately not here to accept this award in person.

Please join me in congratulating our Junior Division Science Fair Teacher of the Year — from McPherson Magnet School in Orange, Orange County — Kayee Conrad.

Kayee Conrad was named as advisor on the following projects this year: J0321, J0728, J1116, and J2215.

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California State Science Fair / 2016 / Science Fair Teacher of the Year — Junior Division / CalifSF@usc.edu