Meet ADE Award Finalist: Shana Bowen

By Jenny Burns, Community Coordinator for Allen Distinguished Educators
February 1, 2016

Shana Bowen teaches 2nd grade at Somerset Elementary School in Bellevue, WA. She is leading and developing a highly engaging engineering program with her 2nd grade class by innovating existing curriculum and re-thinking approaches to meet learning standards with design thinking.

Shana Bowen knew at age eight that she wanted to be just like her 3rd grade teacher. After college, she worked with adolescents in foster-care who were aging out of the system; a paralyzing time in a foster child’s life. But eventually, she knew it was time to answer to her own childhood ambition. Shana is now in her 10th year of teaching.

Shana capitalizes on the notion that children are engineers by nature. They ask questions, imagine solutions, design and create ideas and look for improvements.  Building off Bellevue School District’s 2nd grade science and math curriculum, Shana extends units to enrich academic experiences with meaningful project based activities.  Born from the ideas and interests of seven and eight year olds, Shana transforms students into Goldberg Monster Catchers, Game Developers, and Kite Designers.
She recognizes that young learners need and deserve a strong foundation in problem solving to flourish in the 21st century. As the world becomes increasingly burdened, it will be left to future generations to address society’s abundant needs. Her students are inspired by challenges, they do not shy from such undertakings. She expects these students to have a vision and become change agents by the time they reach high school. 
She believes classroom doors should be open to promote collaboration between students, teachers and the community.   She recognizes a creative mess as permission to explore, invent, and persist - that a classroom that allows for mistakes fosters great thinkers, cooperative problem solvers and compassionate leaders. 

Shana is an outspoken advocate for all learners. With the support of the PTSA and cooperating staff, Shana raised over 33,000 in grants to enhance math, literacy and social studies. She also received a $10,000 fellowship award to teach service learning projects. 

Shana resides in Bellevue, Washington with her husband and son. They spend their time training for triathlons, traveling, and building elaborate Halloween costumes. 

Meet the other finalists for the $25,000 Allen Distinguished Educators Award.

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