Profiles in Educator Excellence: Laura Botte

Recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science Teaching

presidential award for excellenceLaura Botte, a 6th grade math educator at Edmunds Middle School in Burlington VT, was one of four recent recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching from Vermont.

We’ve been lucky enough to partner with Botte as she constantly innovates new visions of student-centered, tech-rich middle school education.

Botte has long been a favorite partner with us, due to the eagerness with which she embraces new challenges and technologies with and for her students. She walks the walk: anything she expects her students to do, she learns as well.

She’s long been an advocate and participant in the Hour of Code, As part of a unit on exploring place, Laura Botte and Katie Wyndorf had their students work with the free iOS app ARIS, an open-source game-creation platform. They collaborated with educators in the Franklin West Supervisory Union to bring an introductory ARIS game to their students, then partnered with the Echo Lake Museum and Science Center to have students create their own mobile, place-based video games.

She shares some of the many amazing ways in which she makes math engaging and accessible for her students via her twitter account, @NiaLearns. Check out some of her class activities, below:

We’re over the moon that Botte’s adventurous spirit, innovative approach to teaching mathematics and consistent centering of her students in her practice has been recognized at the highest level. Congratulations, Laura, on a richly deserved award.

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Audrey Homan is a Vermont-based digital media producer, and host of The 21st Century Classroom podcast. She's worked in non-profit communications for more than a decade, and in her spare time develops video games and mucks about with augmented reality and arduinos, ably assisted by five dogs. Interviewing students and yelling in PHP are the best parts of her job.

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