Shauneen Giudice teaching.
Shauneen Giudice, a seventh-grade teacher at Delmar Middle and Senior High School, is the winner of the 2004 Governor’s Marine Science Teacher-of-the-Year Award. Giudice is the third recipient of the prestigious award, which is bestowed annually.
The award was established by the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program, in partnership with the Office of the Governor, to recognize an outstanding Delaware teacher who demonstrates a strong commitment to educating students about marine and coastal resources.
A very surprised Giudice returned from a weekend spent counting horseshoe crabs in the annual Delaware Bay census to discover she had received the award. “Kids are very interested in anything marine related, and we need to nurture and develop that interest so that, as adults, they will be more responsible stewards of our coastal resources,” said Giudice, who teaches approximately 180 students a day during the school year.
“Shauneen Giudice goes above and beyond the call of duty to help her students achieve their full potential,” said Governor Ruth Ann Minner. “This skill as an educator and dedication to teaching are critical in making Delaware’s educational system among the best in the nation.”
Dr. Carolyn Thoroughgood, dean of the UD Graduate College of Marine Studies, also praised Giudice for her many accomplishments in marine and aquatic science education.
“Shauneen Giudice inspires in her students a true passion for learning about the fascinating world of our oceans and coasts,” said Dean Thoroughgood. “This interest in the marine environment and its stewardship is destined to continue throughout a lifetime.”
Giudice, who has a master’s degree in marine estuarine environmental science and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Maryland, has incorporated numerous hands-on activities and projects to teach her students about the marine environment. In “Science-in-a-Box,” Giudice’s seventh-grade students design and present lessons on such topics as aquatic creatures and the water cycle to elementary students. “Water Works” extends a classroom water-testing project by providing kits for students to test the water of a nearby stream or pond or their drinking water at home.
In addition, Giudice encourages her students to think of their own lifestyles in terms of consumption and how their habits impact their local environment. For example, they learn about the connection between land use and water quality by investigating a storm-water retention pond on the school grounds. After conducting research on aquatic habitat, the students write proposals, which are submitted to the Chesapeake Bay Trust, to improve the habitat and functionality of the pond.
Judges from the Governor’s Office, the Delaware Department of Education, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control selected Giudice based on four major criteria: creativity, innovation, quality of teaching, and impact on students. Nominees submitted information regarding their programs, lesson plans, and activities focusing on the marine environment; student impact; and examples underscoring their commitment to marine education.
As this year’s winner, Giudice will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the 2004 National Marine Educators Association conference, the largest assembly of marine and aquatic science educators in the world. This year’s conference will be held July 18–22, 2004, in St. Petersburg, Florida.
She also will be recognized at the University of Delaware’s annual Coast Day festival, on October 3, at the Lewes campus, where she will have the opportunity to share project ideas and teaching techniques.
The call for nominations for next year’s award will be issued in January 2005. For more information, please contact the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service at (302) 645-4346.