The career of teaching is a great privilege and honor. I look forward to enlightening your child, by modeling with math and science (physics), engaging literacy and exposing them to art and nature. Hopefully, they are inspired to independently explore a topic from the classroom, at home! I hope to make a significant contribution to UMASD’s educational program and inspire others.
In my classroom, I have developed curriculum and shared with colleagues various STEM Projects, cultural explorations, fractal geo-metrics and other project-based learning extending from the common core. While also respecting and intertwining literacy; fiction and non-fiction, Historical Fiction, Classic and Modern Literature into these projects on the elementary and secondary level.
Currently, I hold certification in Science 7-12, Administration K-12 and Elementary Education K-6. At Upper Merion School District, I am working as an elementary gifted teacher and provide enrichment support in grades K-4. I also have experience in secondary education providing academic support for emotional support students. In the fall of 2017, I completed a Principal Certification Program as part of The Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Advanced Studies Masters Program. Enrolled in a Doctoral Program for the fall of 2019. I gained strong leadership experience in the private sector as a federal and municipal contract coordinator for government environmental science services, prior to pursuing a career in education. In addition, assumed an upper level executive management position for a parent company with several subsidiaries.
In addition, I facilitated many professional development sessions requested by colleagues and administration relating to STEM and industry trends. Collaboratively, through extensive research I implemented a technology and literacy program combining coding and robotics. I am passionate about STEM curriculum.
Currently, collaborating on the "A" in Steam. Together with the special area teachers, the "A" team (Art, Music, Library and Physical Education/Health teachers) have met during our "NEW second preparation period" to write special curriculum and team-teach during the extension period.
Some examples: In art, students prepared fairytale characters with 21st century skills by designing a backpack. Cinderella had a remote control for her Roomba in her backpack so she could clean while at the ball. We used an application/resource called "Defined Stem" and informational resources from a professional development session that we attended in the fall held at the MCIU.
In music, we connected the Next Gen Science Standards to our program "The Sound of Science". This included building drums in first grade and a 4th grade project, "Bose Build". Coming Soon! Children will be learning about sound waves while building Bose Speakers and Headphones, made possible through the generous support of our PTC.
Children in the library enjoyed connecting the components of shadows, light and angles in a project titled "The Groundhog's Shadow". The children manipulated light and measured various the angles, rate of refraction.
Physical Education/Health is in the development process. All I can say is WOW! We are excited!
We have been researching Stem Materials and Activities for the Adaptive Classroom. With sincere appreciation, we have acquired these materials from the support of our Director of Student Services. Many of these materials have captured the focus of all our students. Intriguing excitement and a better understanding of Isaac Newton's Laws of Motion and Magnetic Energy.
The Upper Merion Educational Foundation has made possible "Insectropolis" and "Science Tools" through funding a grant request. Insectropolis is an intimate assembly, with live insects and an entomology exhibit. The science tools allow children to see a 3D representation of weather, modeling with science while tracking the weather and watching the science tools.
Perhaps one of the most exciting applications of modeling with math and science this year has been using the green screen and connecting the common core standards of Speaking and Listening through the development of a student centered news channel. "Gulph Gator News, GGN" We have been asked to provide a professional development session this summer featuring all the applications of using a green screen to enrich your curriculum.
In the community, I held various end of the year student exhibits featuring many STEM projects showcasing the students’ work.
Colleagues shared, "You have many examples of proven success in areas the school district is prioritizing. When you arrived, immediately you spearheaded a gifted STEM push. Prompting the district to ask for your leadership in a STEM initiative for all the elementary schools. You continue to inspire others to adopt the Stem Philosophy and enrich their practice"
Sincerely, with great appreciation I thank teachers, administrators, parents, our PTC and The Upper Merion Educational Foundation for their support. These programs would not have been made possible without their support!
This year has been very exciting, working in a state of the art facility, with fabulous staff "The Best of the Best" and most importantly the support of administration for the freedom to take risks and supply us with the materials to provide the most innovative programming.
Fondly & Enjoy
Melanie R. Fink