Meredith Chambers is a fifth-grade classroom teacher in Westside Community Schools in Omaha. She has a passion for STEM education, and is also a member of the NASA Nebraska Space Grant Education Ambassadors and her district’s eMerge elementary technology team. Prior to her experience with the STEM Fellow Program, she sought to bring hands-on STEM experiences to students at a young age to engage them in these subjects early, and to cultivate their inquisitive nature through these experiences.
Before attending the STEM summer experience, Meredith was hopeful it would be an additional experience to enrich her teaching of STEM content; additionally, she was excited to meet with area educators who shared her passion, and who also had wonderful experiences and ideas to share. After attending the summer conference, though, Chambers discovered it was about so much more than sharing ideas, and like many other STEM Fellows, she has taken back programming ideas and resources to evaluate both current and future experiences to ensure they are truly community-based, student-centered experiences. Oakdale Elementary, where Chambers teaches, is now hosting K-6 STEM nights open to elementary families to provide hands-on learning opportunities for the community.
Along with a group of other K-6 educators, Chambers has shared the Nebraska Department’s vision of STEM education to evaluate the experiences offered to ensure they are collaborative, community-based learning experiences that include families in the important task of educating young learners about STEM in the world around them. Meredith is a new resident to Nebraska, but grew up in Iowa before attending Creighton University, and stayed in Omaha to be close to family.