The Society for Science on Aug. 18 released the names of 66 stellar educators who will serve in the organization’s advocate program in the 2021-22 school year. Fifty-eight advocates will each receive a $3,000 stipend, while eight lead advocates will receive $5,000 each.
Among the honorees are Margarette Marturano of Seminole Ridge High School.
Marturano teaches biotechnology. She holds a master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University, a bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University, and has earned industry certification in industrial and agricultural biotechnology. She has been an educational leader for more than 28 years and has a passion for education. She believes that developing a love of science is the key to motivating students to pursue STEM careers.
“I am so excited to be a part of the advocate program,” Marturano said. “I look forward to working with educators from all over the United States. This experience will allow me to expand the opportunities for my students to participate in guided and independent research, and help me to instill a love of science in my students through hands-on exploration.”
Educators participating in the program work with students from underrepresented groups and from low-income households by helping them to develop STEM projects that can then be entered into science research competitions.
Throughout their one-year terms, the dedicated advocates will encourage at least three to five students meeting the criteria in science and engineering research and help them enter those projects into competitions.
Now in its seventh year, the advocate program strives to educate and inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators through hands-on research and competition, and supports full representation of all identities in STEM fields. Advocates will break down barriers to competition participation by providing support for selecting competitions, gathering materials, meeting deadlines, preparing for competition and ensuring inclusivity.
“In the coming school year, students and teachers will have to remain flexible during a fluctuating public health emergency,” said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of the Society for Science. “Through the advocate program, we hope students continue to participate in meaningful and transformative science research experiences. We hope this program continues to be a catalyst for underrepresented students to consider future STEM careers.”
To date, advocates have supported more than 4,000 students during their participation in the program, of which, 3,076 students have successfully competed in at least one science research competition. This year, the advocates are from 31 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and include 23 middle school teachers, three who work with both middle and high school students, 29 high school teachers, six affiliated with universities and five out-of-school educators.