LSSI News & Events


Sarah Geborkoff named NAGT's 2019 Michigan Outstanding Earth Science Teacher

From June 7, 2019 Keweenaw Report (not previously posted, so posting now!)

Houghton Middle School science teacher Sarah Geborkoff is the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Earth Science Teacher award for Michigan from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT). The annual award is for “exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences at the pre-college level.”

The Central Section Committee of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers were particularly impressed by Geborkoff’s year-long, themed, place-based earth science project, her incorporation of student fieldwork and student service in her classes, and her ability to network, partner and collaborate with local universities, scientists and organizations. The Central Section includes eight states (IN, IL, IA, WI, MN, OH, KY, MI), and the committee received many strong nominations for candidates throughout the eight-state section. However, Geborkoff was unanimously selected as the Michigan state winner.

NAGT was established in 1938 with the goal to improve geoscience education, emphasize the relevance and cultural significance of the earth sciences, and to disseminate knowledge to educators and the general public. The competitive Outstanding Earth Science Teaching Award program was established in 1971 to identify, recognize and reward excellence in teaching.

See Sarah's project description on the NAGT website (scroll down to state winners): CLICK HERE

Michigan - Sarah Geborkoff
Sarah Geborkoff teaches earth and general science courses at Houghton Middle School. Between 2015 and 2016, Geborkoff raised funds to erect a snow load greenhouse and garden for her school district; her students annually collaborate with the City of Houghton to start 100s of marigolds for city beautification projects, and members of her 4H youth club run an annual vegetable plant fundraiser for school field trips. Geborkoff is the lead teacher in her school's Lake Superior Stewardship partnership project; her students study water quality at a local urban creek, participate in shoreline clean-ups, and engage in invasive species removal projects. Geborkoff has been innovative in designing her science course curricula. Her 7th grade general science course is based on the year-long theme of water quality, properties, and importance as a resource. Her networking has lead to many sustained collaborations between the school and local community, including an annual three-week STEM project with MTU enterprise student teams that engages her 8th grade classes in the design, marketing, construction and testing and of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. She was awarded a 2019 American Meteorological Society Educator Grant to attend the annual national educators conference and was selected to study at Houston Space Center during the 2019 NASA LiftOff summer aerospace institute. She was awarded the MSTA Dan Wolz Water Educator Award in 2016, recognized as her school district's Outstanding Educator in 2017, and inducted into the Michigan Technological University Academy of Educators in 2017.