Year: 2017 – Province: Ontario
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
The Linden School
10 Rosehill Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1G5
Subjects and grades taught: Grades 4 to 11, Math, Science and Technology
Bill Nye, Ada Lovelace and the Energizer Bunny have nothing on this science teacher and her innovative programming that focuses on getting young girls excited about STEM and ICT. From a life-size model that allows students to climb inside a computer, to a lab exploring the chemistry of candy, Beth Alexander consistently goes above and beyond to transform school into a magical place for her students.
Alexander understands that all students learn differently and regularly engages them directly in providing feedback. She adapts lessons accordingly, using a flipped classroom model to pre-teach material if necessary and has students setting goals, keeping checklists and performing self-assessments.
- A believer in the Citizen Science movement, where not just professional scientists can further global knowledge, Alexander inspires her students to look for solutions to real world problems and supports them in speaking confidently about them to those in power. Her students' initiatives have been featured in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, CBC and Global News.
- Organizes a yearly Social Justice Data Fair where students use math skills to make the world a better place – such as learning about forces and mechanical advantage while designing land-mine detectors. These fairs have inspired schools in New York and Chicago.
- Coordinates an annual Math Mavens and Science Sisters event that has girls and their mothers exploring problems together while building confidence.
- Researched and wrote a comprehensive K-8 curriculum that focuses on age-appropriate coding skills for every grade. Started a popular Programming Club where each week, girls as young as five are learning how to code.
"Beth understands what students in the 21st century need to know and do in order to be successful, and is a leader in developing programs that meet these needs. Her curiosity and enthusiasm about technology are contagious."
"Even though we are young, Ms. Alexander helped us share what we learned with many important people, and helped us fight for changes in our community."