LANSING, Mich. - Holland Middle School teacher, Bill Boerman, was selected as the first in 2019 to receive the Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
Boerman’s unique approach to education combines nutrition and science, technology, engineering, & math (STEM) programs using the school’s hydroponic grow tower, a program supported by relationships cultivated with area grocers and grants the educator spends countless hours pursuing for his students. Students in Boerman’s classroom are expected to earn their STEM License by mastering and demonstrating higher level problem solving, visualization, and modeling, something Boerman enjoys assisting his students in doing.
“Seeing students who sometimes have very little get excited about opportunities is truly a gift”, says Boerman. Citing his faith and a desire to impact youth in a long-term way, his favorite part of being an educator is helping provide students with opportunities they would not normally be exposed to.
The 6th & 8th grade teacher and Hope College graduate was nominated by a colleague because of his “instrumental (role) in the development of STEM at Holland Public Schools.” He was honored last year by The Air Zoo Aerospace and Science Museum in Kalamazoo and raised funds for 3 students to joins him at the ceremony, teaming up with staff members to get the students free attire to dress up for the affair.
Bill Boerman garnered grants for four grow towers for the STEM program, a 3D printer, and multiple tools to help the student build and design equipment and processes to keep the projects running. The next goal in his sites? Support for building a greenhouse to enable students to grow their own vegitables.
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