Marsha Stierwalt (left)
Karen Weigt (right)

Marsha Stierwalt and Karen Weigt

Developers: Insects at Work in Our World

Children look at the world with wonder and amazement, striving to understand everything they see. In fact, children encourage me to wonder with them. - Karen Weigt

It was this attitude and their experience and qualifications that persuaded the Education Office to invite Marsha Stierwalt and Karen Weigt to develop a new life science program focusing on insects for 1st and 2nd grade students.

After attending a needs assessment with colleagues, Karen and Marsha agreed to put the participating teachers' ideas and needs into practice. As a result, they produced an educator's manual and workshop titled Insects at Work in Our World.

Together Karen and Marsha have taught elementary-aged students for over 30 years. Marsha is a 1st grade teacher at Alice Gustafson School in Batavia and Karen is a 2nd grade teacher at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School in Elburn. Karen was chosen as the 2007 Kane County Elementary Educator of the Year. Karen comments, "I love my children! We learn together, make mistakes and correct them together, try different research strategies to solve problems, and generally have fun together."

Marsha and Karen have taught their students about insects as part of their curriculum. "From the development of Insects at Work in Our World, I have a much better understanding of the teaching of the science inquiry method at the elementary level. The lessons were developed to allow the students to discover the importance of insects for themselves," states Marsha.

The Education Office welcomes Marsha and Karen as our newest program leaders and looks forward to their continuing leadership of our newest program, Insects at Work in Our World.