Wanninkhof Excellence in Teaching Scholarships

The Wanninkhof Excellence in Teaching Scholarships are dedicated to supporting STEM teachers who want to continuously learn and grow as STEM educators in order to achieve excellence in their teaching practice and who teach in high needs schools. 

STEMteachersNYC has established this fund to help our STEM education community continue to grow, even during times of difficulty. New York City teachers who teach at Title 1 schools, as well as teachers from under-resourced schools throughout the country, are encouraged to apply. Each year this program allows us to offer over 20 scholarships to our Summer STEM Institute workshops.

The Wanninkhof Family is the founder and benefactor of our scholarship program. Since 2016, in honor of Patrick Wanninkhof and the incredibly vibrant STEM teacher he was, they have made annual donations, with the aim of supporting STEM teachers in their growth as professionals. On behalf of our awardees, we remain grateful for this opportunity and for making these learning experiences possible.

Scholarships will be awarded on a rolling basis, until funds are exhausted. All workshops offer CTLE credit.

Reflections from our scholars

“The approach was flexible and effective. Shared experiences facilitated by cordial exchange instead of being directed was refreshing. This is a goal that I am planning to be better in making use of students’ ideas . By allowing this process , students will develop the skill of questioning each other and responding to each other therefore developing more sophisticated ways of reasoning.”

Pauline Forsythe
Middle School Science Teacher

“Love learning from other teachers to hear what works and doesn’t work. We can get visuals of student work and a better sense of timing and materials needed. I liked the small group over 3 days for us to get to know each other and build a sense of community. I always use it but this was a great way to reinforce the idea of failure as expected and encouraged. Thank you so much for this wonderful group, STEMteachersNYC, and also to the facilitators, Paul and Martina, for putting together such a great workshop.”

Anita Yu

Teaches Middle School – 6th grade STEAM, 8th grade Algebra 1

“The teacher [workshop leader] shares the struggles that we all have and gives experienced insight on how to “It is a professional platform of teachers supporting teachers helping and strengthening each other to better their craft in the classroom. It takes a teacher to experience another teacher’s challenges in the classroom and be able to give constructive advice. To use it as a developmental guide to move students from where they are to where they need to go engaging in a process over time. It was excellent. The atmosphere, interaction and support were just like being in-person. Amy and Jason {the workshop leaders] were fantastic. They were very helpful and supportive. Their approach was so appealing and they really made me feel comfortable and made me want to take other STEM workshops.”

Cheryl Billingy

Teaches Elementary grades Mathematics ELA – Reading/Writing

“Creative, Collaborative and Engaging. It was different because it opened up other ideas, thoughts about the art of teaching our students. The resources, experiences and expertise of the participants. It gave room for flexibility, I felt comfortable (no travel times, parking etc). I had a great time and I am eager to implement what I learned from the workshop.”

Oghaghare Okobiah

Teaches Middle/High School Physics and General Science.

“It was well organized, informative and creative. I love the hand-on – activities and the opportunity to collaborate with teachers from different grade levels. I feel more comfortable and connected to the topics. The conversations are more rich and real to what we are facing in our classes. Teachers are more open to share best practices, strategies and even their students’ work. It is more clear. It is great to know that some of the process can be changed and overlap. Also, allowing students to use the engineering design process as a tool to develop critical thinking and communication skills. It was the closest that you can get to in-person. Most of the components were great, team, time, materials and resources.”

Yocasty Diaz

Teaches Middle School Mathematics and Science

Honoring Patrick Wanninkhof

Patrick Wanninkhof lived his life to the fullest. At STEMteachersNYC we are lucky to have called him a colleague and fortunate to have had him as a board member who helped drive our organization to be the best that we could be – just as he lived his own life. Patrick was a teacher, like many of us, but he was far from typical. He was a bass player and musician who played in bands. He was an exceptional student who graduated from University of Florida with honors. Following university and Teach for America service, he stayed in the public school system so that he could reach kids from every background with his enthusiasm for science. He was a cyclist who combined his love of riding with his passion for social justice with the group Bike and Build where he worked to actively contribute to solutions for the homeless. Patrick Wanninkhof was an inspiration amongst us, at 25.

“To fix systemic inequities which burden our nation, we need a systemic approach to fighting poverty. Education reform will be fruitless if we cannot guarantee that every child can return to a safe home in the evening. The quest for Affordable Housing for each American runs parallel to my dedication for bringing each student an excellent education. Only by simultaneously addressing both these issues can we guarantee the prosperity of each person in our nation.”

Patrick had a generosity of spirit and good will that permeated every relationship he had. His love of his family, his commitment to his students, and his dedication to his friends and colleagues was tremendous. He simply approached his time on this planet as a supremely caring member of Team Humanity and affected everyone in his sphere. Those who knew him will never forget his smile and uplifting exuberance.

Joe Kremer, a STEMteachersNYC board member and regular workshop presenter worked closely with Patrick in the organization, “Patrick’s ride across the country was another indication of his steadfast commitment to the underprivileged. He stayed at the school where he was placed through TFA and became a respected voice in his community. He was a huge inspiration to me in this way, and we had many conversations about how our group as a whole can remain focused on bringing excellent science teaching to the underserved.”

Gideon Levy, a STEMteachersNYC group member wrote, “He did everything with a smile and was the exact type of person students need and teachers strive to be. I knew him through Teach For America as he helped me interview with schools, survive the early phases of teaching, and ultimately push me to discover this amazing group and a love for teaching science. The world and STEM education has lost a true beacon for change.”

We lost Patrick senselessly in the summer of  2015 to more than an accident; the world lost Patrick because of the selfishness represented by a driver texting – because an individual’s own momentary need was put above the safety of innocent others. We can be better than this – Patrick certainly was. Each and every one of us can honor Patrick by being the best we can be as a human being contributing to a better world – he certainly lived his young life this way and so can we.