William Woods alum honored for contribution to Project Lead The Way

Jessika Zink
Jessika Zink

A William Woods University alumna who now teaches at Rolla Middle School recently was recognized for her contribution to Project Lead The Way, a national program designed to encourage more interest in engineering and science among pre-college students.

Jessika Zink, a fifth-grade teacher at Rolla Middle School, was honored during the 2015 Missouri PLTW conference in Wentzville, Missouri, in November.

Zink received the Outstanding Launch Teacher Award from Missouri PLTW for her work with students in the middle school. Now in her third year of teaching, Zink was cited for her “constant tenacity for cultivating the love of learning with her colleagues and students.”

She also convinced the school to purchase lab coats and safety goggles for the fifth-grade students “in order to have her students feel like professional scientists.”

Rolla Public Schools have been involved with PLTW for over a decade. Last year, around 350 Rolla fifth-graders, 120 junior high students and 35 high school students took part in PLTW programs.

“Implementing Project Lead the Way in our classrooms at Rolla Middle School has been an amazing opportunity,” Zink said. “We have a wonderful science team that has worked very hard during this implementation process. Students are enthusiastic about PLTW lessons and enjoy the engineering design process. We are looking forward to the future and growth of Project Lead the Way.”

A 2013 graduate of William Woods University, Zink is originally from Iberia, Missouri.