Dawn McLain, a sixth-grade math and science teacher at North Little Rock Middle School, is this year’s Arkansas winner in the Milken Educator Awards.

She was lauded for down-to-earth hands-on learning of such subjects as robotics, design modeling and rocketry.

She got the surprise at a school assembly and is one of 44 honorees nationally this year.
A fuller rundown of her work and the award can be found here.

Excerpt:

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Dawn McLain believes in educating the whole child. The sixth-grade science and math teacher wants her students at Arkansas’ North Little Rock Middle School to succeed academically, of course, but she’s equally focused on helping them build life skills that will help them succeed into adulthood. McLain encourages hands-on learning, including robotics, design modeling and interactive activities like tug-of-war. After attending the Honeywell Educators Space Academy program, McLain brought back information, projects and curriculum available to all teachers at the school. Her hands-on approach has boosted North Little Rock’s science scores by 7% and has helped students at all levels find success. Under McLain’s guidance, one special education student who had been struggling designed a special door that ended up hanging on a nearby farmhouse; the student is now flourishing after seeing his project come to life.