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SONIC Limeades for Learning Teacher of the Month: Cultivating Hands-On STEM Learning in a Changing World

Science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, is a vital component of education that focuses on hands-on learning to connect concepts to real-world applications. Amid ongoing challenges due to COVID-19, such as remote learning and the need for individual student supplies, November Teacher of the Month Johnathon Martin shares what teachers like him need to foster the best, innovative learning experiences for students.

    • Location: Bossier, La.
    • Subjects: STEM, Algebra 2
    • Grade Levels: 7th and 8th
    • Years Teaching: 9

How have your classroom needs changed this new school year? What types of learning supplies or resources do you need most?

Due to COVID, we have not been able to work in small groups and share resources. This has led to the need for more laptops and robots so each student can continue with their learning.

How can community members and programs like Limeades for Learning best support teachers now, and why is it important to you?

The best way to support the students in my classroom is through donations for supplies. These donations put technology and robots directly into the hands of my students. Each student needs to have their own technology so it can increase hands-on experience with building and programming their robots.

What advice do you have for fellow educators during this time?

Take care of yourself and be flexible with your students.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing students come up with solutions to difficult problems.

What is your favorite project that has received funding from SONIC Drive-In, and why?

My favorite funded project was for a 3-D printer. The printer allowed my students to build spare parts and additions for their robots to use during competition.

What tips do you have for fellow educators who want to get started with DonorsChoose and Limeades for Learning?

The best way to get started it to just do it. Projects get funded all the time, and there is no reason why your project couldn’t be the next.