RIDE Calls for STEAM Education Award Applications, Nominations

Published on Monday, August 28, 2023

PROVIDENCE, RI — As the 2023-2024 school year commences, Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green and the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) are inviting educators to apply for the STEAM Educator Award ahead of STEAM Month in November. The award is organized and presented by the Rhode Island STEAM Center at Rhode Island College. 

“Nurturing and supporting STEAM education will play a pivotal role in shaping the future prosperity of Rhode Island,” said Governor Dan McKee. “We are thrilled to again recognize excellent educators through this award and share our gratitude with those dedicated to inspiring our students and ensuring Rhode Island remains at the forefront of innovation, technology, and creativity.” 

The purpose of RI STEAM Month is to highlight the importance of learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art+Design, and Mathematics, and celebrate STEAM opportunities offered by Rhode Island schools. The STEAM Educator Award will be presented to one elementary educator (grades K-5), one middle school educator (grades 6-8), and one high school educator (grades 9-12) whose innovative and engaging lessons spark curiosity and creativity in their students. 

“Rhode Island’s STEAM educators provide our students with invaluable life skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and adaptability,” said Chair of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education Patti DiCenso. “As excitement builds around the start of the new academic year, please consider nominating an innovative STEAM educator making an impact in Rhode Island.” 

“RIDE is proud to again highlight Rhode Island’s most excellent educators in the world of STEAM,” said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. Research shows high-quality educators significantly boost student attendance. As we work to reduce chronic absenteeism statewide and improve student outcomes, we share our gratitude with educators who sow the seeds of innovation and critical thinking and challenge, engage, and inspire their students every day. ” 

The STEAM Educator Award is presented in memory of Dr. Carol Giuriceo, who served as the center’s director since 2013 and organized the first STEAM Educator Award. Dr. Giuriceo passed away in 2021 after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. 

“The Rhode Island STEAM Center is proud to honor Carol and her devotion to the center through this award,” said RI STEAM Center Director Dr. Lisa Bain. “By recognizing the dedication and commitment of Rhode Island STEAM educators, we are allowing part of Carol’s legacy to continue.”

Along with recognition in November, the winners will receive a STEM Educator Award from the PPL Foundation. PPL Foundation’s STEM Educator Awards recognize teachers that engage students in science, technology, engineering and math subjects through $1,000 grants to spend on equipment and materials for projects. Teachers will receive a personal grant as well.  

“Preparing our students with the skills they need to excel in the STEAM areas is critical to Rhode Island’s future,” said Dave Bonenberger, president of Rhode Island Energy. “Through the PPL Foundation, we’re proud to support the Rhode Island STEAM Center at Rhode Island College and the outstanding teachers who make their lessons in these fields a priority and an engaging experience for students.” 

The STEAM logo and slogan created by MET High School graduate Teodor Janiga will be used to elevate the importance of STEAM throughout the entire month of November. Janiga submitted the winning design last school year during the 2023 STEAM Logo Design Contest. 

RIDE encourages schools and educational organizations to schedule events that engage students and families in active learning and elevate the importance of STEAM. Review a robust list of resources

Nominees/applicants for the STEAM Educator Award must be a full-time PK-12 teacher, employed in a public school in Rhode Island, with at least 3 years of experience teaching. Educators may self-nominate by applying directly. Colleagues, students, parents, or community members can submit nominations for this award to Carolyn Higgins by September 15. Applications are due by October 20, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. Details, including a link to the application, can be found here.

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