Sixth-grade science teacher Patrick Kyne is of eleven scholars this year among 200 middle school teachers applied.

Sixth-grade science teacher Patrick Kyne is of eleven scholars this year among 200 middle school teachers applied. (Courtesy of Western Kentucky University)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Fletcher Middle School teacher has been named a 2021 National STEM Scholar. The program works to inspire the creativity and passion of middle school science teachers. 

Sixth-grade science teacher Patrick Kyne is one of eleven scholars this year out of 200 middle school teachers who applied.

Kyne spent a week with the scholars at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. They engaged in hands-on, minds-on science activities, connected with leaders in STEM education and developed a creative Challenge Project for their classrooms.

“I intend to get a huge set of Arduino microprocessor’s that we can put weather stations together and our main project is looking at micro climates around our campus,” said Kyne.

Kyne’s project is focused on climate.

“The main components are going to be temperature, humidity, soil humidity, the amount of light in the area and air pressure,” said Kyne.

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Next year, his students will assemble the weather stations and place them around Fletcher Middle. He will then report his progress when he attends the National Science Teachers Association annual meeting in April 2022.

Kyne said research shows middle school students take a decline in interest in STEM, so finding creative ways to get them engaged now is key.

“Getting students to really like and enjoy science and that is a big goal of mine that if they finish sixth-grade loving science still, then I’ve done a pretty good job,” he said.

Kyne’s challenge project is funded through a grant from the National Stem Cell Foundation. The goal is to lay the foundation so these kids can enter the STEM field in the future.

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