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Menahga teacher honored

By Nick Longworth

After taking a week long course on increasing economics in the social studies classroom, Menahga high school teacher Stephanie Kramer was honored with the “3M Innovative Economic Educator Award” for her efforts. Kramer received the award of $1,500 and was honored at the annual Econfest on Nov. 7 at the General Mills World Headquarters in Golden Valley.

The award recognizes teachers from all over the state who create lesson plans that approach the teaching of economics with creativity at the elementary and secondary levels.

Kramer, a social studies teacher of 16 years, won first place in the secondary division for her submission.

“The competition asked teachers to enter a lesson that highlighted and taught economic concepts in their classrooms,” Kramer said.

“(In my plan) students study the conditions of settling and homesteading on the Great Plains during the late 19th century; while having to identify the needs of the settlers. Using the PACED economic model (a model for evaluating economic choices) students plan out their purchases from an old Sears Roebuck and Co. catalog and analyze why these are important items. They then practice economic decision making, identifying scarcity and opportunity cost.”

3M has sponsored the event since 1975, allowing it to be offered by the Minnesota Council on Economics Education (MCEE), a non-profit organization housed at the University of Minnesota.

It was the first time Kramer had ever won the award, something she said was a beneficial experience.

“This was the first competition I entered like this. There are many avenues for teachers to share their lessons and teaching methods in the profession - often along with professional development opportunities - but it is not often that awards are provided with that opportunity. It was a surprising and appreciated recognition,” Kramer said.

“I would highly recommend MCEE seminars to teachers,” Kramer said.

“They provide high quality professional development and lots of support materials, too. They also do an excellent job at educating educators.”

Nick Longworth
A graduate from St. Cloud State University, Nick photographs and writes a variety of stories for nearly every section of The Park Rapids Enterprise. His duties also include section layouts and online content submission.
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