Sandy Creek science teacher named 2022 Teacher of Promise

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For the second consecutive year, a Fayette County teacher new to the profession has been chosen as a rising star in the teaching of science.

Shy of having two years of teaching under her belt, Emma Presberg, a science teacher at Sandy Creek High School, has been named the 2022 Teacher of Promise by the Georgia Science Teachers Association (GSTA) at the high school level.

The Teacher of Promise (TOP) award recognizes science teachers with one, two, or three years of teaching experience who show exceptional promise. Sponsored by GSTA, Teachers of Promise are recognized at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. Each TOP award includes a check for $750.00.

Nominees had to complete an application process which included essay-style responses to a series of questions describing how they would improve science education in their schools and school system, details about recent science lessons, and description of unique or creative lessons they have developed based on Georgia’s science standards.

Presberg understands that many students are disinterested or unmotivated to learn about science because they feel it is not relevant to their lives. She solves this problem in her classroom by creating hands-on activities. One example is a project she created to help students understand inheritance patterns. She had students work as a geneticist at a dragon research laboratory to analyze and breed several resident parent dragons to determine what their offspring may be genotypically and phenotypically.

“Many students enjoy the actual act of science: discovery, curiosity and exploration. When taught in a hands on way, science gives students the opportunity to explore the world around them and discover their passions,” she says.

The Georgia Science Teachers Association is a professional organization dedicated to improving science teaching at all levels, pre-school through university. The mission of GSTA is to provide leadership and service for science education. The current membership of over 2,000 includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, and representatives of business and industry.