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3 CWNC Distinguished Educator Research Fellows

Three teachers from Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic are being honored this Monday May 15th for the completion of a year-long Distinguished Educator Research Fellowship through Grow a Generation.

Amy Murray developed a Zebrafish Aquaria in her classroom and enabled sixteen of her AP Biology students to compete in the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair doing fairly sophisticated experimentation on zebrafish embryos.  In addition, Mrs. Murray is in the process of developing a website chronicling her and her students experiences with zebrafish research. The website will serve future students and other biology teachers around the globe who will be able to access her methods.  Mrs. Murray was helped by mentor Elizabeth Rochon, a Postodoctoral Associate at the Gladwin Lab, University of Pittsburgh.  Students from the AP Biology classroom were able to visit the University of Pittsburgh Zebrafish Aquaria and listen to the fascinating research of Dr. Michael Tsang with a STEM Career Tour earlier in the year. The visit inspired the kids to look deeply into current methods of medical research. Mrs. Murray reflected after exams, “Their experience with authentic science research, one that is fed by their own curiosity, transforms the classroom into a place where students discover their future.”

Miss Beth Young, director of the drama Department and Director of Forensics, led students to develop augmented reality experiences to enhance drama projects in the school. Students experimented making media for Aurasma, an interaction app for cell phone. They created not only still photography and graphic designs but also digital movies that interacted with a user’s cell phone. Projects are archived at  The CWNC Drama Program has readily moved in the direction of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), not just by learning to incorporate the technology available on its new stage, but also by looking for other ways to integrate technology into the arts.  Miss Young, after seeing the enthusiastic responses to the augmented reality, said, “We are looking forward to the continued use of technology in our drama program; theater, like all of the arts, needs to look for ways that technology enhances what the public enjoys.”

Mr. Keith Zielen, mathematics and computer science instructor, is one of 40 teachers in our nation who has piloted a new college board AP program called computer science principles using the mobile CSP curriculum students in his classroom.  His fellowship enabled him to lead students on the odyssey of creating a digital movie about their experiences with this unique course. They entered that digital video into the I-5 competition where they were named finalists. Mr. Zielen, remarking after the video was posted to YouTube, said, “Teaching the course has been fun and a journey in learning for myself as much as the class.  I hope our story inspires others to give Computer Science another look.”

The Grow a Generation Distinguished Educator Research Fellowship is an honor bestowed on teachers nominated by their principals.  Each project seeks to elevate the school, community and world through meaningful projects made possible.

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