Teresa Green, technology teacher and librarian at Edwards Elementary School, believes children in grades kindergarten through grades five should have opportunities to fan their curiosity and enthusiasm for technology. Green’s innovating teaching idea, “K-5 Learning with Robotics,” which proposes science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning at a level typically offered in middle and high schools, earned an award as part of Voya Financial’s Unsung Heroes for Innovative Teaching Program.

Green who was selected from a group of nearly 1,000 applicants, is one of only 100 winners nationwide. Her school received $2,000, and she is eligible to compete with other finalists for one of the top three prizes—an additional $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000 from Voya Financial.

Green said she will use the award to develop a class that will nurture STEM learning through a variety of robotics programs.

“Students will meet weekly, working in pairs or groups to program robots to respond to problems and challenges, and will later share with parents, peers and the community what they have learned,” she said.

Carolyn Johnson, Voya Financial’s president of annuities and tax-exempt markets, said her company is “proud to recognize these deserving teachers who have found ways to inspire their students and who raise the bar in their profession each and every day.”

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