Sean Ryan, an outstanding 4th grade educator at DeMiguel Elementary school, has increased the science and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) activities at his school and in the community.
Sean has served as the Science Fair Coordinator at his school as well as the Landscape and Outdoor Resource committee leader, the Nature Trail coordinator, and the STEAM Program coordinator. He coordinates many of the science-related guest speakers for his school, and he coaches the NASA STEM Club. During the summer, he serves as a teacher for Camp Invention, a STEAM summer program.
Sean has been nominated for the Flagstaff STEM Teacher of the Year for at least the past two years. He has received grants from SCA Tissue, Foodlink, and the Western Grower’s Association.
The changes Sean has brought to DeMiguel are a model for other schools to follow. He has helped transition DeMiguel from a school where students had very few science learning and modeling opportunities, and very few outdoor learning opportunities, to a school where all students are receiving yearly, and in many cases, monthly or weekly exposure to science and outdoor learning concepts. He has helped change the science fair to being a much more student-led and directed event, with student-judge interaction during the presentations. Sean also coordinates the two week-long annual STEAM Festival, including the showcase night for parents and the community, and the extra hands-on experiments done with all students in the school. DeMiguel is building a strong reputation for its school wide engagement in STEAM activities including the all-grade-level airplane flying contest.
Sean is creating leaders. He has helped many students take on leadership roles and become involved in caring for the school property, gardens, and nature trail, and has begun recruiting alumni to come back and help create a sustainable program that will last well into the future. Sean models and promotes leadership in others.
Thanks to Sean’s continuous efforts over many years, DeMiguel is now fully involving all teaching teams and integrating projects and learning opportunities with their STEAM program and curriculum units.
Besides his efforts toward increasing science and STEAM education, he is the 4th grade team leader, and is a frequent mentor teacher for both NAUTeach and the NAU PDS program. He serves as the Elementary Representative for the Interest Based Strategies (IBS) negotiations committee, and had recently served as the building representative for the Flagstaff Education Association. He also coordinates the Veteran’s Day Ceremony and is the Running Club Coach.