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2019 INDEEDS Awards Honor STEM Educators

STEM Education
Lynette Leonard and Robin Wilson were recognized for their excellence in creating innovative learning opportunities in STEM for their students.

At Vynyl, we know how critical digital literacy is for kids to succeed in the workplace of the future. 

That’s why we were so excited to partner with the Idaho STEM Action Center to participate in the review and recognition of these excellent educators at the 2019 INDEEDS Awards on October 23, 2019. 

Our own Director of Finance and Human Resources Janelle Lauzon represented Vynyl on the selection committee. Vynyl President and CEO Ian Harris presented the keynote address at the ceremony to recognize Lynette Leonard from Southside Elementary in Cocolalla and Robin Wilson of Emmett High School as this year’s winners.

The Idaho STEM Action Center’s Industry’s Excellent Educator Dedicated to STEM (INDEEDS) Award is given to two Idaho educators who create unique opportunities for students to experience the fun and excitement of STEM by integrating real-world experiences and hands-on activities into the classroom.

Lynette Leonard is the librarian at Southside Elementary, where she teaches literacy, coding and STEAM to students at her school. Lynette started a 3D printing team at Southside, as well as a summer STEAM camp, and many other related events. She has been instrumental in pursuing funding for STEAM programs. She’s currently working on bringing the first STEAM SmartLab classroom in the state of Idaho to Southside Elementary School.

Robin Wilson teaches biology and chemistry at Emmett High School. She came to education with a 15 year background as a biologist. She uses her experience as a scientist to inform her teaching, focusing on giving her students real-world context for “doing science” She’s been teaching at Emmett since 2014, and she has already had great success with students who have already gone on to college in science fields, participated in science internships and regional science fair competitions. Last year she was appointed Science Department Chair in the Emmett School District and oversees her beloved Biology Club.

As 2019 INDEEDS winners, Wilson and Leonard each received a cash prize, as well as funding to attend related conferences to advance their professional practices, and funding for STEM programs at their respective schools.

Here’s an excerpt from Ian’s remarks at the ceremony.

Digital literacy is crucial to the economy today and the workplace of the future. Jobs that require science, technology, engineering, and math skills are growing by 17 percent — this is compared to 9.8 percent for all other occupations — according to The National Conference of State Legislatures. To prepare our students for those jobs of the future, it is important for us in the business community to raise our hands and be allies to the educators who support and inspire the future scientists and engineers of Idaho.

Those of us in this room from the business community are strong believers in the mission of the Idaho STEM Action Center. We are proud to support its programs. In the last year alone, the STEM Action Center facilitated dozens of interactions with students, families, and educators in communities all across the great state of Idaho.

And tonight, we celebrate the teachers who are dedicated to this cause. Together with a council of our peers, the industry selected two teachers as the worthy recipients of The Industry’s Excellent Educators Dedicated to STEM Award, or the INDEEDS Award. This prestigious award is given to Idaho educators who exemplify the talent, dedication, and passion for giving their students the best STEM learning opportunities — by connecting their classrooms with industry and our economic future.

Congratulations to our 2019 winners.

We can’t wait for 2020!

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