Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Spotlight on Excellence: Professor Jennifer Love

Professor Jennifer Love was honored at last night's School Committee meeting in their "Spotlight on Excellence" portion of the meeting.  Principal Pat Sullivan, from the FBMS, spoke on behalf of the district's principals who have benefited from Professor Love's hard work and passion for all things STEAM-related.

Below are the words Mr. Sullivan shared with the School Committee last night in recognizing Professor Love for her efforts:

"I am honored to say a few words regarding Professor Jennifer Love who has made significant contributions to the Marshfield Education Community.  Her influence can be experienced in the STEAM Labs at our elementary schools, our amazing Club Invention at the elementary schools, Club Invention Project at FBMS, the new CSTEM lab and Math Application classes at FBMS, and plans for STEM Lab carts at MES and DWS.  Her volunteerism has inspired our educational community to embrace inquiry based, problem-solving approaches in and out of the classroom.  STEAM (a blending of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in order to solve real-life problems) is a great way to teach 21st century skills that will prepare students for the work force and for life.  STEAM has energized educators by linking teachers and students back to that spark of wonder that fuels everything that is great in education.
Her most recent collaboration with Furnace Brook Middle School in co-writing a $26,000 MEF grant has offered our students a lab where they learn the introductory principles of computer programming using the interactive game and animation application “Scratch,” as well as the Lego Mindstorms Robot system.  Students are presented engineering design challenges (what is also known as problem-based science) such as designing a home with varied materials, modeling bridges, and constructing aerodynamic CO2 cars and pressure rockets. These problems enhance studentsproblem-solving skills and help to foster authentic engineering practices.  This grant also provided chrome books for math applications classes at FBMS.

Jennifer has been a huge influence on the STEAM lab initiative at South River Elementary, as she initiated and co-wrote the $20,000 MEF grant that allowed South River to establish a STEAM lab.  In collaboration with the assistant principal, principal, and teachers, she has been involved in all aspects of STEAM at SRS, including:  the physical setting of the lab, ordering furniture, supplies, curriculum materials, organizing PD for teachers through the Museum of Science, personally providing PD for teachers (both individually and in groups), and collaborating and co-teaching with educators at all grade levels to ensure that all students have access to STEAM education.  In addition, she helped to plan and present the SRS “Spotlight on Excellence” at the May School Committee meeting. 

Jennifer has been an outstanding volunteer at Governor Winslow School; sharing her time willingly in many ways, including:

·         Beautifying the outside of the building by helping with landscaping and gardening

·         Coordinating the Pre-school backpack program

·         Leading the STEM lab initiative at GWS and providing professional development for teachers

·         Teaching at the Club Invention summer program

She continues to support the GWS community by supplying valuable STEM information.

While her two children attended Eames Way, Jennifer collaborated with her children’s teachers by volunteering to assist with STEM activities (Hexbugs and Simple machines).  She collaborated with Peter Van Buskirk on writing MEF grants (two years consecutively) to provide STEM supplies to EWS.  Jennifer also presented at a EWS spotlight to school committee regarding STEM presenting the “Kind Hexbug lesson.”

Plans are also currently underway for Jennifer to collaborate with Martinson Elementary School and Daniel Webster Elementary School to help create STEM Lab carts. The Martinson and Daniel Webster communities are very excited for this collaboration.

On behalf of the Principals and the Marshfield Education Community I want to thank Jennifer Love for her enormous contributions.  We are all very fortunate to have Jennifer Love as a member of our community."