Heredia Receives Prestigious Vernier Award

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by Ronnie Zamora/LFCISD

Los Fresnos High School physics teacher Misty Heredia has been named a recipient of a 2018 Vernier Technology Award by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Teacher Awards program.

The award recognizes the innovative use of data collection technology using a computer, graphing calculator or other handheld software in the science classroom. The NSTA honored K-12 teachers, principals, professors and other science education professionals for their outstanding work and achievement in science education.

The awards were presented at a ceremony Friday at the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Atlanta, Ga.

Heredia was a recipient of the High School Level of the Vernier Software and Technology Awards, which had six other recipients from around the nation. Of the 64 recipients in all divisions, only four were from Texas. Heredia was the only recipient south of San Antonio.

With the award comes $3,000 in Vernier science products that Heredia can use her in classroom. She also received $1,000 plus expenses to attend the conference in Atlanta.

“Being exposed to about 20,000 teachers from all over the country and 27 countries around the world was amazing,” Heredia said. “It makes you feel that not only are you being recognized for your work, everyone acknowledges the issues we face in science in education. We found out that we have the same similarities, concerns and problems. It was a great experience.”

Heredia first applied for the award in 2016, but was not selected as a recipient. In her re-application, she submitted an essay that had to between 3,000-5,000 words on how she would use the Vernier equipment.

She participated in a GEAR UP Grant from 2006 to 2012 to receive many hours of training and Vernier data collection devices and sensors. Reteaching, remedial courses, advanced courses and projects have been more successful using Vernier LabQuest and probes.

“Misty has served different leadership positions at the campus and regional level,” said Alejandra Guzman, Los Fresnos CISD Secondary Science Specialist. “She has gone above and beyond for her students and is heavily involved in academic extracurricular events.”

Heredia used the $3,000 in Vernier equipment for upgrades and additions to her Physics lab.

“Physics equipment is expensive, but now we have more to share with other Physics teachers,” Heredia said. “I’m using most of the newer equipment for students review for AP exams. This will be a big help for a lot of our programs.

The NSTA is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence in science teaching and learning, preschool through college. NSTA’s membership includes approximately 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business representatives, and others involved in science education.

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