Innovation in Geography Teaching Award
2017 Recipient - Paula Huddy-Zubkowski
The 2017 recipient of the Society’s Innovation in Geography Teaching Award doesn’t hesitate to tackle complex topics like energy conservation and environmental protection with her young students. Paula Huddy-Zubkowski teaches Grade 2 at St. Joseph School in Calgary, where she inspires her students to take on big projects, such as starting a school composting program. Huddy-Zubkowski’s efforts in the classroom have earned recognition not only at home but also internationally, when she was named the National Geographic Educator of the Week for helping her students to spread the message about the impact of climate change on polar bears.
“Her unparalleled commitment to geographic and environmental education distinguishes her as both a model and leader in the teaching community,” said Royal Canadian Geographical Society President Gavin Fitch.
Huddy-Zubkowski employs a variety of tools and programs to engage her students in authentic learning experiences. She uses Canadian Geographic Education’s Classroom Energy Diet Challenge as a launching off point for discussions about Earth's ecosystems, natural resources, and conservation. Taking her students on virtual field trips with Explore by the Seat of Your Pants, she encourages inquiry-based learning and shows her students how to exercise their agency in the stewardship of the planet. Recently, she travelled on the inaugural leg of the Canada C3 expedition, sharing her experiences with her students and the world through social media.