Samantha Edkins teaches grades 3-5 STEAM at South Fayette Intermediate School. Prior to her arrival at South Fayette, Samantha taught a variety of grade levels and subjects in Virginia, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Samantha obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Tech in Psychology and English. She holds a Master’s Degree from Marymount University in Elementary Education PreK-6. She is a Level 1 and Level 2 Google Certified Trainer. Samantha was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2016 for her innovative and collaborative lessons while teaching middle school English on Hilton Head Island.
Throughout Samantha’s first year at South Fayette, she collaborated with many organizations on the PA Smart Grant as they partnered with 7 high-need PA School districts to develop introductory CS/STEM curricula, assessments, and teacher professional development. Through the support of local foundations, research institutions, universities, and businesses, South Fayette Township School District has been providing outreach regionally and nationally to provide equity in education. She recently taught two courses for the first virtual STEAM Summer Institute, both of which covered instructional strategies to deepen learning concepts such as collaborative problem-solving but also included computer programming activities such as Hummingbird robotics and micro:bits. Similarly, Samantha collaborated with Digital Promise on their “Tough As Nails” Project for schools in rural Kentucky. Working closely with her colleague, Samantha developed online courses for a teacher summer institute on computational thinking, facilitated online sessions, and created learning modules for future teacher professional development.
Samantha believes in “doing what you love and loving what you do” and is so happy to say that her role in education fulfills that! As a lifelong learner, she continues to reflect on her experiences, methodologies, and projects as she collaborates with other passionate educators. Her highest priority is to instill the true joy of learning in her students and colleagues.