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Zachary Blackwood (MS ‘10) Selected as a Siemens STAR

Zachary Blackwood (MS ‘10) Selected as a Siemens STAR

Zachary Blackwood (MS ‘10) Selected as a Siemens STAR

As a 2014 Siemens’ STAR, Zachary Blackwood will have the opportunity to engage with top scientists and researchers on short-term research projects about current topics of national interest. These projects are related to ongoing research at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee.  Each year the Siemens Foundation selects 40 promising middle and high school STEM teachers out of a very competitive pool from across the US.  Applicants to this program provide several written documents as well as videos of their classroom activities for the chance to be chosen as a Siemen STAR. 

ORNL will provide additional leadership and resources to help Blackwood and his fellow STARs incorporate research into their classrooms. In addition to the research immersion, Blackwood will attend seminars, mini-workshops, tours, and field trips to expand his research experience.

“I am really excited about working in the lab and doing actual research,” Blackwood said.  “It will provide an invaluable experience to bring back to my classroom.  It is my goal to make research a big part of my student’s classroom experience in the future.  I believe the best way to have students learn science is to do science.  Lectures and cookbook labs (where you follow a step-by-step recipe) will only get you so far.  Students need the experience of developing a model of how things work, and then figuring out a way to test that model,” Blackwood continued.

Blackwood is a 2009 Woodrow Wilson Fellow of STEM Goes Rural, a transition to teaching program that enables career changers to earn their Masters of Science in Education from the College of Education while preparing to work in a rural Indiana school.  He also received his Bachelor’s in mathematics and physics from Purdue. He currently teaches high school physics, engineering and computer science at Lewis Cass Junior Senior High School in Walton, Indiana where he also sponsors the Science Club and coaches the Robotics Team.