Sierra Vista math teacher recognized as SFAz “Innovation Hero”

September 24, 2009

By hammersmith

Adam Curtis, Sierra Vista Herald/Review, September 24, 2009

SIERRA VISTA — Buena High School math teacher Sandra Trevino walked into the school library on Wednesday expecting to meet with the principal and instead found a room filled with the applause of her students, friends and colleagues.  Trevino was the recipient of Science Foundation Arizona’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Initiative Innovation Heroes Award.

The award is a mouthful but basically honors teachers and students who are using innovative approaches toward academic excellence in STEM subjects, the foundation said.  Trevino was nominated by a former student, Haley Haros, for her ability to make trigonometry understandable and useful in her students’ daily lives, said Darcy Renfro, executive director of the STEM Initiative.

In her nomination letter, Haros told a story about using what she learned in class to help her dad figure out how to cut down a tree in her yard in such a way that it would not hit her house.  “Trevino does some fun things to make math interesting and easy to learn,” said Pati Urias, a spokesperson for the STEM Initiative.  Some of Trevino’s methods include:

• Helping students make “sine spaghetti” graphs of noodles.

• Leading them in musical “pi walks” around a circle to learn trigonometry values.

• Testing their knowledge by having them author a trigonometry handbook in the final months of class.

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