Teachers in the SMSD Participating in Pilot Burns & McDonnell Fellowship

Teachers in the SMSD Participating in Pilot Burns & McDonnell Fellowship
Shawnee Mission School District

Educators from Comanche and Nieman Elementary Schools have been selected for the Burns & McDonnell Early Educator Fellowship, powered by Startland.

The fellowship is a two-semester program for Pre-K-6 educators focused on human-centered design thinking. Participating educators will learn how to leverage design thinking for impactful project-based learning and how to infuse problem-solving across curriculum.

The competitive fellowship drew in applications from across the Kansas City metro, and Denise Alphson and Alissa Foshee, second-grade teachers from Comanche, and Michael Soto and Amy Jonason, fourth-grade teachers are among the 20 educators selected to participate.

“Burns & McDonnell is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals, and that starts with educators in the elementary space,” says Emily Rhoden, education outreach specialist at Burns & McDonnell. “We’re excited to pilot a design thinking fellowship with Startland. We want students 15-20 years from now to walk through the doors of Burns & Mac with tools to tackle the challenges of their generation and, hopefully, a passion for problem solving and creative thinking that was encouraged by their elementary teachers.”

“I am grateful to have been given this chance to learn from and alongside other educators,” Alissa Foshee second grade teacher at Comanche shared. “This process of gaining ideas and implementing design thinking into my teaching and classroom will not only challenge me but will also challenge my students. I look forward to creating opportunities for them to take charge of their own learning through the design process and am excited to build a culture of innovation in my classroom!”