A ceremony was held in the Blountstown Middle School gym Thursday morning with teacher Shannon Romer being presented a $2000 ING Unsung Heroes Grant.
A representative of the company was on hand for the presentation and recognized Romer as one of the nation’s most innovative educators in the 2009 ING Unsung Heroes awards program. She was one of 100 winners who received a $2,000 award to help fund her “Changing the World – One Molecule at a Time” innovative idea and bring it to life in the classroom. She will now compete with other winners for one of the top three prizes — an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000.
“Changing the World – One Molecule at a Time” is a biotechnology program created by Romer for the students in her Intensive Science Academy class at Blountstown Middle School. The unique program, which is the only one of its kind in Calhoun County, will provide students with an opportunity to explore fields and activities related to current scientific advances. They will study genetic engineering, commercial biotechnology, and forensic science by transforming bacteria, participating in a simulation and creating a gene clone of a medicinal rainforest plant. In addition, the students will extract their own DNA, separate and visualize DNA fragments at a “crime scene,” and employ DNA profiling. The program will not only benefit the 25 students in the class, but the resources will also be utilized by more than 100 additional science students.
Romer, who resides in Blountstown, hopes that the program will prepare students to live and compete effectively and prosperously, open their eyes to current events happening around them, learn about the types of scientific jobs available, and inspire them to enter the world of science.