TTU's Susan Gore named State Higher Ed Science Educator of the YearFor taking a lead in promoting science education throughout the state, Susan Gore, Tennessee Tech University assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, has been named the Tennessee Science Teachers Association's Science Educator of the Year in the Higher Education Division.
The TSTA established four awards in elementary, middle school, high school and higher education divisions to recognize educators who have established a leadership role in promoting science as an essential component of basic education in the state of Tennessee.
"There is no doubt that students of all ages learn by doing," said Gore, who teaches science for elementary teachers and advanced studies at TTU. "We must teach science as a never ending process of questions and answers.
"I believe the main purpose of science education should be to prepare students to be informed decisions makers," she explained. "Science education is not about the past, but about the future."
Gore has been an integral part of the Engineering a Future Day, hosted at TTU for each of the last four years, which provides hands-on activities for young women in grades 5 through 8. She serves as the College of Education liaison with the College of Engineering for the event. She also established the Future Elementary Teachers Science and Math Club at TTU.
Gore holds memberships in the National Science Teachers Association, Tennessee Science Teachers Association, Tennessee Academy of Science and Phi Delta Kappa. Since becoming an assistant professor at TTU, she has kept her public school roots nourished by appearing at local elementary schools to teach science lessons at different grade levels.
"Each lesson is inquiry-based, hands-on learning geared to the state standards for that particular grade level," said Gore. "I feel that this keeps me grounded in the real world while giving back to the community."
A sought-after presenter, Gore often talks about how teachers can use an inquiry-based approach to teaching science in elementary school without a science lab or budget. Her article, "Engineering a Future for Tomorrow's Young Women," was published in November 2006 in NSTA's Science Scope Magazine.
Gore received her bachelor's degree in education, master's degree in special education, and specialist in education degree in educational administration and supervision from TTU, as well as her doctorate in education from Tennessee State University.Gore received recognition at the TSTA awards banquet in Nashville.