Simpson Faculty Member is Finalist for National Award

More success for Simpson College: An adjunct faculty member has been named a finalist for a national teaching award.

Shannon McLaughlin, who teaches Secondary Science Education and Practicum at Simpson, is a finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

In addition to his work for Simpson, McLaughlin teaches at Norwalk High School.

He is one of two state finalists for a science teaching award. The other is Marcia Powell of West Delaware High School in Manchester.

McLaughlin said he was intrigued at a young age by the challenge of science.

“I was attracted to the vigor of the thinking and the demand that science placed on me,” he said.

He said getting students engaged begins by making information relevant.

“We have to start with something concrete before we get to the abstract,” McLaughlin said. “We have to provide an experience that students can actually engage with or think about or complete.”

Three Iowa teachers also were named state finalists in mathematics teaching.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the nation’s highest honors for kindergarten through 12 grade teachers of math and science.

Awards are giving to math and science teachers from each of the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions. The program recognizes those teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning.

Iowa finalists were chosen by a panel of science and math teachers from across the state.

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