Mystic Seaport has named Angela McGhee from Winthrop STEM Elementary Magnet School in New London the recipient of the 2015 Orion Award. The Award was announced at the Museum’s annual Members’ Meeting on September 26.
The Orion Award is bestowed by Mystic Seaport on teachers who create meaningful and innovative learning experiences for their students by utilizing the Museum’s collections, programs, and learning resources. It recognizes teachers who infuse history, math, science, and literature with a maritime focus and are an inspiration to their students and their colleagues. The Museum has given the award annually since 2005.
As the Operations Manager for Winthrop STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Elementary Magnet School, McGhee’s primary responsibility is to oversee the Expanded Learning Time program. Expanded Learning Time is a national initiative designed to give students the opportunity for more quality time within the school day to experience a variety of enriching and engaging experiences. The program at Winthrop has added 300 hours to the regular school for students with help from teachers and community partners like Mystic Seaport.
With the Expanded Learning Time program students have the opportunity to develop deeper learning skills such as teamwork, public speaking, and creative problem solving. Under McGhee’s leadership, Mystic Seaport provided 92 sessions of Expanded Learning Time programs for the school’s 4th grade students over the course of 18 weeks. The programming connects to Winthrop’s focus on STEM and vocabulary development, while exploring topics that included astronomy, whaling, life in a seaport town, and the use of primary sources.
“Angela has a wonderful combination of being able to “think big” and then implement the visionary idea,” said Sarah Cahill, the director of education at Mystic Seaport. “Angela truly understands the value of experiential learning, and has worked hard to forge lasting relationships with Mystic Seaport and other community partners to provide the most engaging and impactful education to the students at Winthrop.”