Press Releases  |  11.16.2023

2023 June Scobee Rodgers Innovative Educator Award Presented to Kentucky Teacher

Sixth-grade science teacher recognized for commitment to keeping students engaged in STEM

Washington, D.C. (November 16, 2023) – Brandy Roberts, a sixth-grade science teacher at Heath Middle School in Paducah, KY, is the recipient of the 2023 June Scobee Rodgers Innovative Educator Award. The award is named in honor of Challenger Center Founding Chair, June Scobee Rodgers. The Award recognizes an outstanding educator who understands the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and demonstrates enthusiasm and passion for teaching STEM subjects.

“When I meet educators like Brandy, I think about how much they love their job and their students—they’re so dedicated and devoted to doing what’s best for them,” said Scobee Rodgers. “I think about my teaching days when I wanted to do something innovative for my students but didn’t have the money. It’s my honor to have my name attached to an award that provides support to help bring those innovative ideas to life.”

Roberts was nominated by the Challenger Learning Center at Paducah for her commitment to her students. Over the last 10 years, she has brought her students to the Center for Missions. Multiple classes every year for over 10 years. During each of the last two school years, Brandy brought 10 classes of students to the Center.

“Among all of our educators, I believe that Mrs. Roberts is one who truly sees our Challenger Learning Center as not just a STEM field trip, but as an integral part of her 6th grade science curriculum. She seeks out unique ways to keep her curriculum engaging—not just reading and writing about science,” said Mellisa Duncan, Director of Challenger Learning Center at Paducah. “As a student, I would have loved her as a teacher. As an educator, I would have loved to be on her team.”

Roberts was presented the award during a special event Challenger Learning Center at Paducah. As part of the award, Roberts receives $2,500 to further support her efforts. Nominations for the June Scobee Rodgers Award Innovative Educator Award are open to all Challenger Learning Centers.