Teachers Tiffany Bookal and Julie Throne were Society for Science grant recipients to support STEM education.

The Society for Science named two Georgia teachers as recipients of STEM Research Grants to advance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning in middle and high school classrooms in the United States and abroad. With the ongoing public health emergency challenging education systems everywhere, these awards pay tribute to the perseverance, labor and critical role teachers and mentors play in supporting future STEM talent and leaders, including the next generation of climate scientists, astronomers, geneticists, data analysts and engineers.

Julie Throne, a teacher at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, and Tiffany Bookal, a teacher at Paul Duke STEM High School in Norcross, were among the 95 exceptional educators to receive STEM Research Grants from the Society for Science. 

Mrs. Throne plans to use sensors and cameras from her STEM kit to teach students how to monitor the school's vegetable garden as well as fish activity in the fish house aquaponics system. The grant money will be used for students to be mentored by USDS researchers to increase awareness of careers in this field. 

"Skills obtained through STEM are vital for career success, regardless of the career," says Mrs. Throne. "Students must learn to problem solve, ask questions, search out solutions, and be independent thinkers."

Ms. Bookal will use her $5,000 grant to purchase STEM-related research equipment. "I was hired at the start of last year to be the school's research teacher, but it is difficult to do STEM research without expensive equipment," says Ms. Bookal. "I was grateful to receive the information about this grant so that we can get the equipment we need." 

The STEM research kits and funding will help educators to fuel and facilitate scientific inquiry in all settings, whether remotely, in-person or through a hybrid model. The Society’s STEM Research Grants program is sponsored by Regeneron and National Geographic.

“We are delighted to award these teachers with STEM kits and resources to further their student’s pursuit of inquiry-based learning. Studies have consistently shown that hands-on original research and active learning are essential for students to genuinely embrace STEM pathways – this is especially true for women and students from underrepresented backgrounds,” said Michele Glidden, Chief Program Officer at the Society for Science. “We are proud to award grants to these outstanding teachers who are motivating their students to conduct research, use their critical thinking skills and empowering them to answer questions to solve problems in the world around them.”