LaPorte resident one of seven Colorado science teachers selected for fellowship program in New Science Teacher Academy

The National Science Teachers Association, the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all, announced Jan. 14 that seven out of the 240 science teachers chosen as Fellows in the 2012-2013 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy are from Colorado, including LaPorte resident Rustie Robison, who teaches at the Colorado Virtual Academy in Northglenn.

Selected from hundreds of applicants nationwide, Rustie will participate in a year-long professional development program designed to help promote quality science teaching, enhance teacher confidence and classroom excellence and improve teacher content knowledge.

Honda-NSTA and Lockheed Martin-NSTA Fellows from Colorado include:
• Allyssa Teske, North Star Academy, Parker
• Lindsey Blansit, Cesar Chavez Academy Denver
• Tracy Clement, Horizons K-8 School, Boulder
• Sharon Combs, STEM High and Academy, Highlands Ranch
• Robin Hockey, STEM Launch, Thornton
• Rebecca Hooley, Atlas Preparatory School, Colorado Springs.

“We are thrilled to provide these teachers with the resources and support needed to help them feel confident and passionate about the critical work they do in inspiring today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leading STEM professionals,” said Gerry Wheeler, interim executive director, NSTA.

The 2012 Fellows were selected on the basis of several criteria, including showing evidence of a solid science background and displaying a strong interest in growing as a professional science educator. Each Fellow will receive a comprehensive NSTA membership package, online mentoring with trained mentors who teach in the same discipline, and the opportunity to participate in a variety of web-based professional development activities, including web seminars. In addition, each Fellow will receive financial support to attend and participate in NSTA’s 2013 National Conference on Science Education in San Antonio.

For this academic year, The Dow Chemical Company, the primary sponsor of the program, will fund the participation of 191 science teachers as Dow-NSTA Fellows. The American Honda Foundation will support three science teachers as Honda-NSTA Fellows and the Amgen Foundation will support 11 science teachers as Amgen-NSTA Fellows. Astellas Pharma US, Inc. will support 14 science teachers primarily from the Chicago area as Astellas-NSTA Fellows and the Bayer USA Foundation will sponsor six science teachers as Bayer-NSTA Fellows. The remaining 15 science teachers will be supported by Lockheed Martin and named Lockheed Martin-NSTA Fellows.

Launched during the spring of 2007, the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy, co-founded with a grant from the Amgen Foundation, was established to help reduce the high attrition rate in the science teaching profession by providing professional development and mentoring support to early-career science teachers. Since its inception, the Academy has provided high-quality professional development to more than 800 science teachers nationwide.

For a list of the 2012-2013 Fellows or to learn more about the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy, please visit

About NSTA
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes approximately 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

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