Malaree Shields is inspiring a new generation of young engineers at North Kingstown High School (NKHS). Shields’ hands-on lessons integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and give students the opportunity to build experience with relevant technology that will serve them in future careers.
In her classroom, high schoolers build and program robots to navigate an obstacle course, using inquiry and deductive reasoning to test and revise their machines. Shields is intentional about creating a collaborative environment that serves all learners. In her adaptive classes, she effortlessly designs activities that welcome students at all learning levels and align to each student’s unique learning needs. A champion for student success, she holds high expectations and encourages her high schoolers to take ownership of their learning. Students consistently use technology to gather data and track their progress to meet learning standards. A creative and innovative role model, particularly for young women, Shields’ students leave her classroom well on their way to success in STEM careers.
In addition to her work in the classroom, Shields supports students as a class advisor and leads NKHS’ award-winning Robotics team. As part of the school’s Academy of Engineering pathway, she coordinates Career and Technical Education (CTE) internships in engineering and connects with local industry leaders to organize workplace opportunities for students. Her pre-engineering students have the chance to earn work hours while implementing real-life applications of their STEM lessons. They teamed up with the climate club to build a mobile living wall and the herbs they grow are used for NKHS’ school lunches.
Engaging students year-round, Shields helped organize summer science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) camps, where students explore science through games and experiments. She encourages parent involvement in their child’s education, welcoming students and parents to attend monthly STEM nights at the high school and middle school level.
Shields earned bachelor’s degrees in biology and education in 2016 from Salve Regina University.
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