Ingrid Moon, a sixth-grade science facilitator at tuition-free public charter school iLEAD Encino, and Kimberli Lengning, a facilitator at iLEAD Lancaster, have been named Distinguished STEM Educators by Columbia University, iLEAD announced Monday.
The teachers took five graduate-level courses – including Methods of STEM Education, three electives, and a STEM Leadership Seminar – to complete the Endeavor STEM Teaching Certificate curriculum.
The certificate is awarded by Columbia’s Teachers College with credits issued through regional partner Adams State University.
The program enjoys a strong relationship with NASA Education, which has funded the certification of more than 500 teachers. Students and alumni engage in direct contact with NASA scientists and engineers each semester, and program alumni frequently win Teacher of the Year in their state or district and become STEM leaders on their school campuses.
Moon, who holds an MBA and a Master’s in Education, is credited with building a science department at iLEAD Encino that includes modern STEM tools and skills, a STEAM lab for 3D printing and tinkering, and an age-appropriate, accessible science library.
Lengning, who holds a Master’s in Curriculum, has been teaching for 24 years and was instrumental in bringing Franklin Covey’s “The Leader In Me” program to iLEAD Lancaster.
“iLEAD’s model is squarely centered on facilitating a highly engaging, individualized and cutting-edge curriculum for our learners,” said Amer Kuric, Interim CEO of iLEAD Schools Development.
“Ingrid and Kim are well known across our campuses for their drive to connect with each student and meet them exactly where they are,” Kuric said. “We are so proud of them, and we applaud them for taking yet another leap forward in their professional development. These certifications also mark an important step forward toward iLEAD’s goal to have a NASA Endeavor STEM-certified facilitator at each of our sites to support the development of authentic STEM projects across all grade levels.”
iLEAD Schools, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is a network of 13 charter schools throughout California and the Midwest, including schools in Castaic and Agua Dulce. iLEAD empowers learners to become conscientious, compassionate, and responsible citizens of the world, and inspires them to become creative thinkers and leaders with a lifelong love of learning.