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Houghton teachers get state awards

By Garrett Neese gneese@mininggazette.com Nov. 28, 2016

HOUGHTON – Two Houghton teachers recently received awards for their work in educating students on science.

Houghton High School science teacher Lauri Davis and Houghton Middle School teacher Sarah Geborkoff were presented with plaques Nov. 20 from the Michigan Alliance for Environment and Outdoor Education.

“There were five given out statewide,” said Houghton-Portage Township School Board member Bob Wheeler. “We got two of them.”

Geborkoff’s Eco Challenge teams won back-to-back rounds in the national level in 2015 and 2016, a level reached by only eight schools nationally. Geborkoff’s classes also help with the Huron Creek Watershed Stewardship project.

Through grants, Geborkoff has also purchased a greenhouse, started a pollinator garden and supporting the seventh-grade’s participation in a science day at Michigan Technological University.

Geborkoff passed a handout to the school board showing recent grants received, including $7,000 for 4H/student garden and greenhouse work.

Davis is lead teacher for her Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative project, which deals with the Lake Superior tributary ecosystem in the Houghton High School forest. The students design research projects each year and present them at a public forum.

Davis has also assisted in three summer teacher development programs on global change, sustainable future and science research with students at Michigan Tech. Davis also presents at state and national education conference and writes articles for the Michigan Science Teachers Association newsletter.