By Anna Skinner
Betsy Lange has always been an advocate for STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – in schools, and as an industrial engineer and a teacher’s assistant at Mohawk Trails Elementary, she decided it may be time to pursue her passion a little more.
Lange was recently one of 43 Indiana residents selected as a Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellow for 2016. Each fellow receives $32,000 to complete a master’s degree, and in return will teach for three years in a school setting that has a need for STEM education. Lange’s master’s program is through Ball State University.
“The fellowship is an accelerated master’s program, and I will have a master’s in science education from Ball State when I’m finished,” Lange said.
Lange will finish her schooling in May, and then she will begin applying for jobs in high-need schools around the state. Lange’s own children attend Ball State University, which is one of the reasons she wanted to complete her master’s degree there.
“I have an engineering degree, and I have always loved math, and working in CCS has really reinforced my love of working with students,” she said. “My specific goals are to go in a high-need middle school. I think middle school is an age where it is a pivotal time in some kids to become more interested in school or you lose them, so I really wanted to work with that age of a student. There’s all kinds of cool things you can do with STEM.”
Lange said after her three years are up, she may continue in a similar setting.
“I feel like teaching is a calling, so I probably will stay in a high-need school to make a difference to students who need it the most, and that is the whole reason I want to do this,” she said.
For more, visit woodrow.org/fellowships/ww-teaching-fellowships/indiana/.