Meet The Incoming Award Winning NSTA President, Dr. Alicia Conerly
An unexpected fire alarm led Dr. Alicia Conerly down the path of fostering students’ love of sciences. As Dr. Conerly made her way out of the Mississippi Museum where she was attending that day, she stopped to help an older colleague move further away from the building. She made the most of that opportunity to introduce herself.
That colleague later asked if Dr. Conerly was familiar with the Shell Urban Science Educators Development Award.
Growing up, Dr. Conerly had a deep love and passion for science and knew firsthand how important it is to encourage young students who also have that passion. Since the day of that fire alarm, she has developed a thriving science education career and was recognized as the recipient of the 2015 Shell Urban Science Educator Award, the 2016 Shell Science Lab Challenge Grand-Prize Award, among many other honors and awards.
Founded in 1944, the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) grew to become the largest science education organization in the world with over 53,000 members. As part of efforts to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, Shell USA, Inc. sponsors and administers the Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge and the Shell Urban Science Educator Development Award. Dr. Conerly is the current incoming President of the NSTA.
“Teachers and STEM education change lives,” says Frazier Wilson, Director, Workforce Development and Diversity Outreach at Shell USA, Inc. “We are proud to celebrate the important work they’re doing to develop the future workforce and equally to have supported NSTA for over 30 years.”
Due to the awards’ generous cash prizes, Dr. Conerly was able to outfit her science classes and laboratory with personal protective equipment including goggles, chemicals for dissection, and other basics for her biology labs.
“Children know when you are fearful and when you don’t know what you’re talking about,” shared Dr. Conerly. “But as time progressed, I wanted them to know that Mrs. Conerly is here to help me, to teach me, and to love me.”
This focus on building trust with her students first allowed them to open up and share what they loved about science. It meant she was able to expose them to different ways they could pursue STEM careers and build their knowledge. Her support and dedication is transforming hundreds of STEM students. It’s these future leaders that will help drive energy solutions for tomorrow.
Shell USA’s support for STEM education extends beyond the NSTA with sponsorships for diverse organizations such as the National Urban League, the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Institute, and more.
We’re finding ways to bring energy to more people in more ways every day, so that all of us can be a part of the changing energy system. Because Powering Progress means providing more and cleaner energy across the country.