The Big Hoopla, CJ Announce the STEM Teacher of the Year

The Big Hoopla, in conjunction with Chaminade Julienne, announced the first-ever winner of The Big Hoopla STEM Teacher of the Year Award on Friday, February 23, naming to Dee Van Brackel as the recipient. She is a K-5 STEM teacher at Stephen Bell Elementary and Bell Creek Intermediate schools in Bellbrook.

Van Brackel was chosen from more than 50 submissions for the award. She was selected for her enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and math in the classroom and the Dayton community. Van Brackel spearheaded a STEM night for students by networking with retired engineers and the WPAFB Educational Outreach office. Additionally, she spends many Saturdays volunteering at the Dayton Regional STEM Center for Science.

In the classroom, Van Brackel is credited with bringing non-traditional STEM subjects and STEM together. An example was given how she connected reading with STEM after reading the book, Rapunzel. She asked the students if Rapunzel could have used other methods to get people up the tower and students were challenged to create a pulley system for Rapunzel instead of her using her hair.

The selection committee for the Big Hoopla STEM Teacher of the Year award agreed that Van Brackel not only met, but exceeded the criteria they were looking for in a recipient of the award.

“The Big Hoopla STEM Challenge spotlights the influence and impact of STEM in the Dayton region, and it begins with education,” said Dan Meixner, CJ president.

“Teachers in this region especially inspire students to discover and participate in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. These dedicated educators ignite the imaginations of our young people and give them tools and vision to shape a bright future for our region and beyond. The STEM Teacher of the Year Award gives us an opportunity to honor their work, and we are pleased to recognize Dee as this year’s recipient. She represents many in our community who are educating and preparing students to sustain and grow our city’s rich history of invention and innovation.” 

Van Brackel will be presented with her award during the Hoopla STEM Challenge at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School on Sunday, March 11 at 1 p.m. when she will receive a $1,000 grant from the Local Organizing Committee and CJ to be used to improve STEM learning in the classroom, an official Big Hoopla STEM Teacher of the Year plaque, 50 upper arena tickets for all First Four March Madness games and four Hoopla Central VIP Passes.

Hoopla STEM Challenge Event Details: 

  • Sunday, March 11 • noon - 5 p.m.
  • Families with children in grades K-8 are especially invited
  • Free Activities • Food • Compete for Prizes
  • Register here

STEM Showcase:

  • Liftoff Entertainment
  • Proto Buildbar
  • Perduco
  • Mile 2
  • Norwood Medical
  • Rave Cravings
  • Engineers Club of Dayton
  • Sinclair Architectural Technology and The American Institute of Architects Dayton Chapter
  • U.S. Air Force Museum
  • SelectTech Geospatial
  • DP&L + Ohio Energy Project
  • Dayton Metro Library
  • CJ STEMM - Chaminade Julienne
  • Premier Health
  • Boonshoft Museum
  • Barge Design Solutions
  • Make It Dayton
  • Carillon Historical Park
  • Scene75
  • Wright-Patterson AFB EOD
  • Heapy Engineering
  • University of Dayton School of Engineering
  • GemCity Engineering
  • Frontier Technologies inc.
  • Mister C
  • First Robotics
  • Wright-Patterson AFB Educational Outreach
  • Project Lead the Way
  • Dayton Regional STEM School
  • Dayton Power & Light
  • Girl Scouts
  • Marion's Piazza
  • W.g. Grinders
  • Ohio Robotics / XTREME Bots / Staub
  • USAF Mini Jet
  • Women in Science & Engineering (UD)
  • Riverside Research
  • Sinclair Community College Vet Tech Dept.
  • Copp Integrated Systems
  • PSS and MacAir’s
  • Whirlpool
  • MotoMan
  • GemCity Engineering
  • NASA
  • VEX Robotics
  • Booz Allen
  • COSI
  • Garber Electric
  • Innovators Robotics
  • SlickLabs
  • Honda
  • Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)
  • IonVentus
  • Real Art
  • University of Dayton / UDRI
  • Reynolds & Reynolds
  • UD Rivers Institute
  • USAF Marathon

Posted February 23, 2018