NV science teacher named AEOP teacher of the year

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

The Army Educational Outreach Program has named Northview science teacher Kathryn Nelson the AEOP Educator of the Year.
Her love of science and her dedication to research has earned her a national education award. Nelson said she was humbled and honored to receive the award.
“The AEOP has provided many opportunities and honors for my students. In particular, OJSHS and JSHS have inspired them to be curious and understand what is possible for them in science, solidify plans to pursue STEM careers, and propelled many to prestigious selective universities, including Ivies,” she said. “I am proud to represent the many professional educators who work beyond their school’s walls and workday to provide meaningful experiences and help students find their passions and true potential.”
Nelson enjoyed undergraduate research for four years during her B.S. Biochemistry program at California State University, Fullerton. She also earned a B.A. in business administration-finance and worked as a technical administrator for a medical and dental infection control company in Southern California before returning to the Midwest and becoming a professional educator. After making a career change to the classroom and joining Northview’s faculty in 2008, she earned her Master in Education degree and became a National Board Certified Teacher.
In this current climate of standardized testing, Nelson recognized that students were losing their natural curiosity, becoming more and more accustomed to Googling the ‘right answer.’ To help students develop originality in inquiry and thought processes, and bring what she considers the amazing world of scientific research for her students, she developed an honors STEM research course at Northview in 2015.
Nelson encourages her research students to participate in the Ohio Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. This premier three-day event (pre-pandemic) sponsored by the U.S. military allows her students to communicate their original research and discover what other student researchers were doing throughout the state. Her students have earned spots at National JSHS for the past two years, and she was awarded the 2019 Colonel George F. Leist Distinguished Teacher Award for Ohio.
These AEOP experiences in JSHS have made a profound impact on her student’s lives and the Northview educational program. After seeing the impressive range of opportunities available to students in the elite districts across the state through OJSHS, she has evolved her program from a home-grown honors STEM research class to an AP Capstone program. She developed contacts and professional relationships with the University of Toledo to facilitate advanced research opportunities for her students interested in chemistry, biology, and medical science. The success of her former students fuels the desire and interest of her present and future students. They all know what is possible for them now because they know others who have done it. Their experiences increase their confidence and expand their ideas on what futures could hold.
Many students have been accepted to selective schools and programs, in large part due to their research and JSHS/OJSHS awards. Over the past five years, students who have presented papers or posters have received admission, scholarships, or early placements to Cornell, Brown, Penn, Stanford, Case Western Reserve, Notre Dame University, The Ohio State University, Purdue, University of Cincinnati-DAAP, Miami University, Bowling Green State University, and The University of Toledo.
Nelson continues to expand her STEM learning through partnerships with university professors, as a professional grader for the AP exam, and as a chapter reviewer for Pearson Chemistry high school textbooks. Her students have been published in scientific peer-reviewed journals. She encourages her students to participate in additional science competitions through the Ohio Academy of Science. Her students have also earned accolades at State Science Day, Buckeye Science and Engineering Fair, had their abstracts published in the Ohio Journal of Science and had one earn Melvin Scholar standing. She is dedicated to providing as many opportunities as possible for her students.
About the Army Educational Outreach Program
AEOP offers students and teachers opportunities for meaningful, real-world STEM experiences and competitions. AEOP is a national organization. Its membership and alumnae division is located in Sylvania.

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