Hannibal Educator Wins $12,000 National ING Unsung Heroes Award
At a surprise celebration at Hannibal High School, physics teacher Carol Burch, a Red Creek resident, was recognized as one of the most innovative educators in the nation. One of 100 finalists who received $2,000 in the 2005 ING Unsung Heroes awards program, Burch claimed the second place award of an additional $10,000 to fund her renewable energy research program called “Wind or PV: What Should it Be?”
In its 10th year, the ING Unsung Heroes awards program recognizes kindergarten through 12th grade educators nationwide for their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and ability to make a positive influence on the children they teach. The program, founded by ING U.S. Financial Services, has awarded more than $2.3 million to nearly 1,000 educators across the United States. This year’s ING Unsung Heroes winners were selected from a group of more than 1,100 educators.
Burch’s “Wind or PV: What Should it Be?”project was designed to help raise students’ awareness of energy education. Burch’s project provides more than 150 9th grade physics and environmental science students the opportunity to become hands-on researchers and engineers of two types of renewable energy generation systems for potential use throughout the Hannibal school district. The students will research, design and construct a wind turbine – a device that will receive energy from the wind and convert it to electricity – as well as purchase and install a solar panel. They will monitor both for electricity generation.
The project not only enhances the students’ knowledge of energy issues, but also improves their critical thinking skills and makes science more relevant to their everyday lives. Upon completion, students will present a project summary to the Hannibal Board of Education for funding.
“Carol has always possessed the remarkable ability to make science exciting and relevant to our high school students, and we are proud that she is being honored with this award,” said Superintendent Michael DiFabio. “She has a strong dedication to making the Hannibal district more environmentally conscious, and this project serves as a perfect way to engage our students as the decision makers of tomorrow.”
“This year ING is celebrating its 10th year of honoring outstanding educators around the country whose work to pioneer new methods and teaching techniques is sometimes overlooked,” said Bill Jasien, senior vice president of ING U.S. Financial Services. “A good education system is important to the future of this country, and ING will continue its commitment to help build a strong educational foundation for the future of America’s school children.”
Applicants for the ING Unsung Heroes awards program are asked to provide a project description, description of the program’s benefit to students and an accounting of how they would use the funds received. The 100 finalists are selected on program merit by Scholarship America, an independent, non-profit organization that administers this aspect of the program on ING’s behalf. ING’s Educators Advisory Board, consisting of renowned educators and administrators from across the country, selects the top three award recipients from that group of 100.
To learn about this year’s winning projects, as well as those from previous years, visit the ING Unsung Heroes Web site at www.ing.com/us/unsungheroes. Applications for the 2006 ING Unsung Heroes awards are available on the Web site. You can also receive an application by calling 800.537.4180 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
ING Group is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to more than 60 million private, corporate and institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of more than 112,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.
ING is a leader in providing 403(b) plans to kindergarten through 12th grade educators and other employees of nonprofit organizations in America. In the U.S., ING offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients that includes retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, life insurance, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. Currently, ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves more than 14 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.com.