Odessa Teacher Earns Prestigious Award

Odessa Teacher Earns Prestigious Award
Odessa Teacher Earns Prestigious Award

Odessa High School science teacher Jeffery Wehr was one of only three recipients in the nation to receive the Siemens Founders Award.  This award is given in recognition of an individual or school for encouraging students to participate in math, science or technology research programs and efforts to provide the necessary support consistent with Siemens Foundation mission of enhancing math and science in American high schools.

The Siemens STEM Academy provides an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C., presenting the award during a black-tie ceremony at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.  Jeff and his wife Julie Wehr attended the ceremony at which he received this national honor from Albert Hoser, founder and chairman emeritus of the Siemens Foundation, Governor Caperton, president of the College Board, and Reed Timmer, chief meteorologist and star of the Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers.

Along with this honor, the Siemens Foundation provides an opportunity to participate in a summer research immersion program at Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Tennessee this summer (STARs program). The STARs program is a two-week professional development course designed to empower teachers to bring the excitement of authentic research into the classroom and inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Working in small groups, teachers will collaborate with ORNL scientific teams to conduct individually designed research projects that will give them real-world experience to bring back to their classrooms. This immersion into authentic research, professional scientific collaboration and educational enhancements will provide insight, resources and scientific contacts to the participating teachers.

Hundreds of educators apply to attend this elite research retreat, yet only twenty are selected each summer. Having been selected for the Siemens Founders Award, Wehr has automatically been accepted into the STARs program this summer along with the other two Siemens Founders Award recipients.