SOE graduate student named finalist in Shell Science Lab Challenge

Jennifer BargardiJennifer Bargardi knows her science.

And because of that, so do many of her students at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit.

The biology and robotics teacher, who earned her teaching certificate in 2008 from University of Michigan-Dearborn, is being recognized for her success in the classroom.

Bargardi earned a spot as a nationalist finalist in the Shell Science Lab Challenge. Her status as a national finalist this month earned her school $8,500 to improve its science lab.

Shell Oil Co., with help from the National Science Teachers Association, sponsors the competition among middle and high school science teachers.

“It was kind of a competition for teachers who have limited resources,” said Bargardi, who is the lone science teacher at her school.

Bargardi and other finalists separated themselves from the pack of other applicants because they all have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources. As part of the application process, teachers in grade 6-12 shared their educational approaches in hopes of a school science lab makeover. This year, Shell awarded more than $93,000 in lab makeover prizes to 18 schools.

Bargardi said she plans to review next school year’s curriculum to determine what lab materials to purchase.

She earned her teaching certificate after completing UM-Dearborn’s post-baccalaureate secondary teaching program. She has returned to UM-Dearborn to pursue a Master of Science degree in science education.

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