TED, Valencia College, & Engineering is Elementary Honored for Harold W. McGraw Award at ASU-GSV

New methods in teaching, edtech inventions, and other education-relation innovations come to fruition each year. As time goes on, education’s reach broadens, and the ways through which teachers teach and students learn become more advanced and more effective.

Every year, some of these leading innovators in education are honored through the Harold W. McGraw Prize. The prestigious prize is given to three people over three categories — U.S. K-12, U.S. Higher Education, and International Education.

The 2017 winners were announced on April 10. They include: for U.S. K-12 Education, Dr. Christine Cunningham, Founder and Director of Engineering is Elementary (also known as EiE) at the Museum of Science in Boston; for U.S. Higher Education, Dr. Sandy Shugart, President of Valencia College in Orlando; and for International Education, Chris Anderson, Curator of TED, the nonprofit organization that produces TED Talks.

Dr. Christine Cunningham — Winner of the U.S. K-12 category

Dr. Cunningham is the Founder and Director of Engineering is Elementary (EiE) at the Museum of Science in Boston. Through creating and leading the program, she has introduced engineering concepts, practices, and overall curriculum at the elementary level, which has helped her transform education and set learners up for success. According to McGraw-Hill Education’s press release about the Prize winners, “Since 2004, her curriculum has been implemented in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with access to populations underserved and underrepresented in STEM fields. Cunningham’s curriculum has reached 12.8 million children and an estimated 1.25 million educators.”

We recently had the chance to interview Christine Cunningham at the Museum of Science. Listen to the full story to hear how she turned the idea of elementary engineering education into a program that now reaches 13 million students.

Dr. Sandy Shugart — Winner of the U.S. Higher Education category

Dr. Shugart is the President of Valencia College in Orlando. Valencia is spread out over five campuses and serves over 70,000 students. Through his work at Valencia, Dr. Shugart has helped increase the student success rate at the college — especially for Hispanic students, which make up the demographic that the college primarily serves.

“From 2006 to 2014, Valencia has witnessed an 83 percent increase in the number of students who earn an A.A. degree each year,” said McGraw-Hill Education’s press release.

Full interview with Dr. Sandy Shugart:

Chris Anderson — Winner of the International Education category

Anderson is the curator of TED, which is the nonprofit organization that runs TED Talks.

According to the press release, “Anderson helped turn what was once a closed-door conference devoted to Technology, Entertainment and Design into a global platform for spreading ideas across a wide variety of disciplines.”

Today, there are more than 2,100 free TED Talks with more than 86,000 published translations in over 110 languages. TED also has a youth and education initiative called TED-Ed.

“Through their leadership and creative vision, Christine, Sandy and Chris have opened doors of opportunity for millions of learners and helped change lives,” said David Levin, president and CEO of McGraw-Hill Education, in a statement.

“By honoring them with the McGraw Prize in Education, I hope their stories reach many more people and inspire others to make a difference.”

The winners were chosen through teams of jurors, and each category has its own set.

Each winner receives a $50,000 prize and an iconic bronze McGraw Prize sculpture.

A reception honoring the Prize winners will be held at the 2017 ASU GSV Summit in Salt Lake City on May 9, and a keynote event recognizing the winners will take place on May 10.

To learn more about the Prize and who went into the selection process for each winner, read the original McGraw-Hill Education press release.

Photos from the event:

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Elizabeth Hartel

Elizabeth Hartel

Elizabeth hails from New Jersey and studies journalism at Emerson College, where she works for two publications: a lifestyle magazine and a music magazine. In addition to education, she also enjoys writing about health and fitness and pop culture.