Jason Daniels is a finalist for PAEMST national award!

Four Alaskans educators were nominated and selected as finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (K-6 cycle)

The award recognizes those teachers who have both deep content knowledge of the subjects, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and-or computer science, and have the ability to motivate and engage students to achieve success in those areas. 

A fifth grade teacher at Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Daniels is a finalist in the science category for Changes to Matter and Conservation of Matter (Pancake Science Investigation), and was also a PAEMST finalist in 2018.

“Our children, to a greater and greater degree, will inherit a world full of STEM, which is all the more reason to set our students up for success by providing quality experiences in the STEM field, whether it be through career exploration, like Upstream Academy, or project-based learning in the classroom. STEM experiences are so important!”

Jason Daniels, K-Beach Elementary School

“Science education is now more important than ever,” said Daniels. “We live in an age of science and technology. It has shaped our lives and will shape the lives of our children even more. To this end, we have new Science Standards of Alaska (SSA) for Alaskan educators. The new standards were vetted by Alaskan teachers in an effort to make them more relevant for Alaskan kids and the Alaskan way of life. The SSAs are designed around three dimensions of science understanding, and more closely aligned with how science happens in our daily lives and they are very teachable.”

Changes to Matter and Conservation of Matter (Pancake Science Investigation)

The lesson studies changes in matter from what is seen to what is not seen with our eyes. We used pancake ingredients and cooking to illustrate the processes that take place when matter changes to make pancakes. Throughout the lesson students:

  • conduct an investigation to identify pancake ingredients
  • make pancake batter and see how its properties change when it cooks
  • measure and graph changes in weight
  • develop a model to describe what happens when pancakes cook

 “The Awardees reflect the expertise and dedication of the Nation’s teaching corps, and they demonstrate the positive impact of excellent teachers on student achievement.  The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy” (https://www.paemst.org, 2020).


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