Science educator receives Garner teaching award
Ryan Evans ’07 has a successful formula for engaging his seventh-grade science students: make learning exciting. “We do a lot of cool things they may have never done before,” says the Wabash (Ind.) Middle School teacher who uses project-based learning activities such as designing roller coasters with basic household materials. “I like to open the kids’ minds to new ideas and experiences through science.”
Ryan is the 2014 Warren K. and Helen J. Garner Alumni Teacher of the Year, an annual honor that goes to a Manchester-educated teacher and funded by the generosity of longtime educators Warren ’50 and Helen Yeager ’50 Garner.
Ryan says that his students “remember more and can apply more” when he engages them in project-based learning.
Ryan also sponsors the WMS Science Club, which has grown significantly during his time at the school. The club takes summer field trips to different areas of the country, where they are immersed in culture and science. This summer, the club visited various parks in the Mountain West, including Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Currently, Ryan is pursuing a master’s degree in technology education from Ball State University. “I want to be able to help people out that may need help with technology, and give them ideas and things to do in the classroom,” he says.
Outside of teaching, Ryan coaches the boys track team at Wabash High School and the co-ed cross country team at WMS. He enjoys being outdoors and staying active through hiking or running.
At Manchester, Evans ran on the track team for four years and earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a concentration in life sciences. He is in eighth year as a full-time educator.
By Andrew Ellam ’15