2015 Master Teachers: Kara Fahy
"I am Kara Fahy, a STEM/STEAM Resource Teacher at Fort Belvoir Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia. Fort Belvoir Elementary School is located on a military base and received a grant award from DoDEA, the Department of Defense Education Activity to support our STEM programming. I teach hands-on science inquiry and engineering lessons to over 50 classes, grades preK-6. In addition to teaching, I have had the privilege to set up a science/STEAM lab and develop Kids Lab: an after-school and summer STEAM program. I invite local engineers and scientists to come talk to my students about their careers in STEM. I also partner with Dr. Usha Rajdev of Marymount University to welcome student teachers into my classroom to see integrated science and technology model lessons. Our school hosts an annual Family STEAM Day and a Family STEAM Night/ Science Fair for our community.
I am passionate about space, and I use space exploration and the International Space Station (ISS) as motivation in my teaching. In 2014, our Fort Belvoir students spoke to an astronaut on the ISS through our Marymount University partnership and an ARISS grant. It was such an exciting opportunity! Before teaching at Fort Belvoir, I was the Fairfax County Aerospace Educator in Residence at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center. As the Aerospace Educator in Residence, I used NASA resources to create and teach science labs and engineering design challenges for field trip groups for students in preschool through high school. I also had the amazing opportunity to attend Space Camp for Educators in July 2010 at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
I am very passionate about STEM and I am excited to share authentic NASA learning experiences with my students that incorporate authentic data. As a GPM teacher, I look forward to growing as an educator by making connections with my fellow teachers. "