Boston — Aug. 20, 2015 — Natalie Macke, an award-winning teacher at The Virtual High School (The VHS), a non-profit empowering schools with the industry’s best online learning programs, has received a special invitation from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to attend its Back-to-School Climate Education Event. The event will take place Thursday, August 20 in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex.
The Back-to-School Climate Education Event supports the Climate Education and Literacy Initiative, which was launched in December 2014 to connect students and citizens with the best-available, science-based information about climate change. The public is welcome to participate via the livestream and social media.
The event’s presentations will demonstrate new and innovative ways to increase climate-learning opportunities for students and to equip educators with science-based information and resources. The program will consist of an interactive climate “assembly,” fireside chats with senior officials, demonstrations of new free online educational resources and a panel featuring outstanding student leaders.
“I can’t think of a teacher who deserves this honor more than Natalie,”said Carol Ribeiro, President & CEO of The Virtual High School.“She’s a tenacious force when it comes to finding new and exciting ways to engage students in investigating global issues in science.”
Macke is a NOAA Climate Steward who also teaches chemistry and environmental science at Pascack Hills High School in Montvale, New Jersey. She participated in the Toyota International Teacher Program, during which she traveled to South Africa to improve science education for girls. She also was part of the NOAA Teacher at Sea program where she contributed to research efforts in the Bering Sea, blogging with students during the experience. Macke has been hailed for creating a launching pad for students to explore the world, connecting students from the United States, South Africa, Taiwan and China via videoconference for global conversations about science. In her free time, sheserves as co-director of the New Jersey Chemistry Olympics.
Macke has taught at The Virtual High School for seven years. Most recently, she developed and is teaching Climate Change, a new science course that allows students to question the cause and effect of climate and also explore the science behind those questions byassuming the role of climate steward for a world region of their choice. The course curriculum is so innovative that it was showcased at the North American Association of Environmental Education Conference, the Global STEMx Education Conference, the Massachusetts STEM Summit and the National Science Teachers Association Conference.This October, the curriculum will also be highlighted as a Class of the Future at OESIS Boston, a conference that enables principals, teachers and administrations of independent schools to discover and sample innovative classes from across the nation.
In June, Macke received further recognition for her work when Princeton University’s Program in Teacher Preparation presented her withThe Distinguished Secondary Teaching Award. “Natalie embodies The VHS mission of consistently raising the bar for excellence in teaching,” said Ribeiro. “We have no doubt that Natalie will use her expertise and experience to create even more amazing learning experiences in the future, and we can’t wait to see what she brings back from the Back-to-School Climate Education Event.”
About The Virtual High School
The Virtual High School (The VHS) is an online learning pioneer. Since 1996, the nonprofit organization has set the standard for quality online education. The VHS provides online middle and high school courses for students and professional development for educators. The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development, individualized course offerings, and support for blended learning initiatives. The VHS design and delivery standards are the model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning. The organization has won numerous awards, including the Stockholm Challenge Award for Global Excellence in Information Technology and is a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Association’s (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, visit www.TheVirtualHighSchool.org or call (978) 897-1900.
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