North Carolina Middle School Teacher Headed to Bahamas to Study Endangered Sea Turtles

Jun 06, 2017
Project-based learning expedition sponsored by Voyager Sopris Learning

DALLAS, June 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A North Carolina middle school teacher may just have the most interesting “what I did on my summer vacation” tale to tell when the 2017–18 school year begins.

Sponsored by  Voyager Sopris Learning, Catherine Hickey, an Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) teacher for Person County Schools in Roxboro, N.C., will spend nine days in July in the Bahamas tracking endangered sea turtles as part of JASON Learning’s Student & Teacher Argonaut Program, designed to transform K–12 STEM teaching and learning.

Hickey’s district was the winner of a drawing sponsored by Voyager Sopris Learning, a Dallas-based education solutions provider, following the company’s recent webinar focused on helping struggling readers. Students and teachers must apply for the program through JASON, often competing against their peers around the world.

For the expedition that runs July 13–21, Person County Schools’ Chief Academic Officer Dr. Wendy Staskiewicz selected Hickey, who is in her fifth year at the district and second year teaching AIG middle school students.

“I immediately thought of Cat, who joined our district fresh out of college and is such a promising young educator,” Dr. Staskiewicz said. “She is so good at thinking of new ways to get students excited about project-based learning and helping her students make real-world connections to the topics they study. This is a once-in-a-lifetime research project opportunity, and she will be able to return to the classroom and use this experience to teach her students in new and exciting ways.”

In the Bahamas, Hickey is to be paired with a student and, along with other teachers and youths, will work side-by-side with scientists and engineers—both in and out of the water—as they track, tag and release the endangered green and hawksbill sea turtles, study their migration patterns, and collect and analyze key data. Researchers are working to ensure the sea turtles’ habitats are protected from coastal development and that their food resources continue to be abundantly available.

“With the hands-on experience and testing we’ll be doing, it will help me better learn how professionals use science in the field,” said Hickey, who earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of North Carolina. “I don’t have a science background so this will be an incredible learning opportunity for me and allow me to incorporate what I learn in the Bahamas into lessons and projects in our classroom.”

Since the founding of JASON Learning 26 years ago, more than 500 students and teachers have participated in the Argonaut Program.

“We’re thrilled we could sponsor such a talented young teacher like Catherine Hickey for this exciting, outdoor learning adventure,” said Jeffrey A. Elliott, President, Voyager Sopris Learning. “Beyond the nine days in the Bahamas, Cat can return in the fall as a STEM role model and share firsthand with her students what she learned in the JASON classroom.”

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About Voyager Sopris Learning
Voyager Sopris Learning® is an education partner committed to unlocking the full potential of every teacher and every student. We believe that the best way to meet and exceed standards in education is to address the underlying systems of teaching and learning, and to nurture those systems at their most fundamental levels. Our programs and services are based on research and classroom evidence, ensuring they are easy to implement, teacher friendly and effective. We offer a variety of digital and blended instructional tools, programs, and professional development, all of which are designed to help every teacher deliver nothing short of the highest-quality instruction to every student. Voyager Sopris Learning is a business unit of Cambium Learning® Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABCD), based in Dallas, Texas.

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About Cambium Learning Group, Inc.
Cambium Learning® Group is a leading educational solutions and services company committed to helping all students reach their full potential. Cambium Learning accomplishes this goal by providing evidence-based solutions and expert professional services to empower educators and raise the achievement levels of all students. The company’s award-winning brands include: Learning A-Z® (, ExploreLearning® (, Kurzweil Education® (, and Voyager Sopris Learning® (, which, together, provide breakthrough technology solutions for students and teachers—including best-in-class intervention and supplemental instructional programs; gold-standard professional development; valid and reliable assessments; and products that enable access to learning for all students.  Cambium Learning Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABCD), is based in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit

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