Third grade Prairie Vista Math teacher Amanda Fox was recently notified that she has been named an Indiana finalist for the prestigious national Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) award. PAEMST is the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. This is the second time a PHM teacher has been honored as a PAEMST finalist. Penn's John Gensic was a Indiana finalist and was a national award recipient in 2017. Click to read that story.
Ms. Fox has spent the past four summers (2017-2020) working with Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Notre Dame on various educational outreach, training, and research efforts funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF grants funded K-6 computer science summer program at the University of
Notre Dam, and her innovative after-school coding classes. Ms. Fox worked to expand the after-school coding courses opening them up to all 2nd-5th graders. In the words of Prairie Vista parent Clare Roach, “She is indefatigable and single handedly brought a love for computer science to an entire school.”
She was among the first cohort of teachers to help K-8 teachers develop age-appropriate curriculum to introduce students to computer science within existing STEM curricula. Notre Dame Professor Michael T. Niemier praises Ms. Fox for mentoring other area teachers as well as working to help create content for K-8 students in various local school districts other than just P-H-M.
Ms. Fox has worked to help transform computer science education at Prairie Vista. She’s also established a northern Indiana chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).
National PAEMST award winners are expected to be announced in August.