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Sierra College Alumna Recognized as National Teacher of the Year

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Angela AndersonSierra College graduate Angela Anderson loves her job giving her students hands-on experience and seeing them get enthused about learning.  For eight years she has taught Biomedical Science at Antelope High School near Sacramento and, before an audience of 2,000 cheering educators, accepted her award in October as Teacher of the Year at the National Summit of Project Lead the Way (PLTW) in Orlando, Florida.

"My students help choose projects similar to those they'd do on the job," said Anderson. "They are guided to think critically and solve problems, to communicate clearly and work together as teams. These are skills that employers want." The hands-on approach, she added, "makes learning fun and irresistible."

She uses curriculum and teaching methods developed at PLTW by a team of educators, mostly teachers, and used by 10,500 schools in 50 states. Its focus is on science, math, engineering and technology. Anderson's biomedical course provides that high school seniors can "job shadow" or work at medical facilities, to give them, she said, "a jump-start on college". This year 35 of her students work as interns at Sutter Roseville Medical Center and Mercy San Juan Medical Center. At UC Davis, some are assisting lab technicians with stem cell research while others will participate in a contest to build the best biotech website.

Anderson earned Associate's degrees in biology and liberal arts at Sierra College and, while attending classes, worked as a lab technician in the science department. She went on to UC Davis for a Bachelor's degree in biology and for her Master's in education.

"She has inspired students who will contribute to advances in biotechnology,” said Sierra President Willy Duncan. "Her work validates the hands-on approach to teaching which we employ in courses like mechatronics and in our partnership with Hacker Lab.”

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