It is my personal and professional mission to: Ignite positive impact. I strive to ignite curiosity and a love for STEM education in my students. This award recognizes the passion and energy I have put into science, mathematics, and STEM education throughout my career, and affirms to me that I am living into my mission. This award is validation that I am igniting positive impact!

Bridget Zahradnik Novi, MI | K-6, Science, 2020

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Bridget Zahradnik has taught for 24 years. She has taught fifth grade Math and Science at Novi Meadows for the last year and spent the previous 19 years at Parkview Elementary School, teaching first and third grades. Prior to that, she taught Spanish for a year at Village Oaks and Orchard Hills Elementary Schools, a bilingual first grade at Bennett Elementary School in Detroit, MI, and first grade at both J.S. Slocum Elementary School in Pineville, LA, and McKinley Elementary School in Corona, CA. Bridget’s teaching style is one of project-based learning and subject matter integration with emphases on design thinking and student leadership forming its foundation. As the co-chairperson for the Invention Convention at her school, she supports young inventors in state and national competitions and has transitioned students and their families away from the traditional science fair to one of design and innovation. She incorporates a weekly makerspace into her classroom, emphasizing the design thinking process. She also managed a project for an outdoor learning space so that learning could transcend the four walls of the school. As her district’s elementary Science Content Area Leader, she has provided professional development, curriculum review, and support during a transition to NGSS. She values professional sharing and has published articles on the topics of science instruction, makerspace, project-based learning, and subject matter integration. Bridget has worked as an educational consultant for eight years, providing coaching and facilitation in school leadership, culture, and academics. Bridget earned a B.A. in elementary education and an M.A. in curriculum design and teaching, both from Michigan State University. She is certified in mathematics and Spanish.

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