Upper St. Clair High School science teacher Colin Syme was awarded a $2,000 ING Unsung Heroes grant Monday night to help fund his innovative teaching program.
Syme’s winning program, "Zebra Fish: A Tool For Project-Based Learning," engages students using zebra fish as cross-curricular tools for inquiry. Students explore several lines of study including housing and breeding, basic cell development, embryology, genetics, physiology and molecular biology.
The program also promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The ING Unsung Heroes program strives to uplift, inspire and honor educators who are making a significant impact on their students and the educational experience in the classroom, since many educators are under-appreciated, under-paid and unrecognized.
Syme is one of 100 winners who are receiving a $2,000 award. Nearly 1,300 educators across the country applied. Syme will now compete with other winners for one of the top three prizes—an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000.
"It means a lot to us as educators that people in the community want to give back to education," he said.
“ING is proud of the hard work and dedication of all of our nation’s teachers,” said Maliz Beams, CEO of ING U.S. Retirement Services. “It is a privilege to invest in the innovative ideas of educators across the United States who are preparing our children for the future. We hope the additional funds Colin Syme is awarded through ING Unsung Heroes will help sustain his program and continue to make an impact on the children in his community.”
To learn more about this year’s winning projects, as well as those from previous years, visit the ING Unsung Heroes website. More information about the program can also be found on the ING Unsung Heroes Facebook page where people can like and share the page to encourage more educators to apply.