Success Stories

Geology class project published

Heather Hill

Heather Hill graduated from Grand Valley in the spring of 2008 with her bachelor’s degree in integrated science and her elementary teaching certificate.  Currently in her first year of her teaching career, she already has one of her lesson plans published by The Geological Society of America. 

While at Grand Valley, Hill’s Geosphere class with professor Steve Mattox required that she develop a lesson plan. After learning about the Tiktaalik rosea, a 375-million year-old fossil discovered in the Arctic in Canada, Hill decided to do her lesson plan on the ancient fossil.

“I wanted to do a lesson plan on something that no one had ever done before,” she said. “There isn’t a lot of research on the fossil, but it is unique because it fills the fossil gap between the evolution of Devonian fish to Devonian amphibians.”

The lesson plan known as “Evolution in the Classroom,” was designed for seventh and eighth graders as well as the high-school level. It is now included in a CD provided by The Geological Society of America, which provides teachers with various educational resources.   
Upon graduating in April 2008, Hill moved to Florida to begin her elementary teaching career. She now works as a fifth-grade science teacher at an elementary school in Pasco County, Florida.   

“I love my career, and it is so rewarding going to school everyday and teaching my students,” she said. “It gives me great satisfaction knowing that I am helping shape the young minds of our future.”

This upcoming summer, Hill plans to attend the University of South Florida to pursue her master’s degree in science education.

by Leah Burns

This story was filed with the tags: Science, Undergraduate Alumni