Last year, Boardman Advanced Biology Teacher Heather Moran was named “Teacher of the Year” by the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. This year, she has a new title-- Book Author!
Her Book is called Biology Help for the Virtual Weary Student. It includes 17 stories that she says serve as a bridge between the average biology textbook and her actual classroom lectures. The stories make what she calls “sciency” words more understandable and they make the concepts stick. For example, the chapter on Osmosis is called “Exploding Fish.”
“During the pandemic of 2020, I was trying to help a friend whose son was struggling with an online bio class. My friend said ‘we have the textbook, a workbook and the answer key...what we need is someone to break down the why?,’” Moran explained. “After writing several of my normal lectures out for this boy, I realized these same short stories could help other students who might be struggling. I wrote the book over the summer.
Ms. Moran reached out to 120 fellow teachers, parents, current and former students to be her review crew. A BHS graphic arts student, Savannah White, did all the graphics inside the book. Now all her students are buzzing after the first copies of the book have just become available on Amazon.
“One of my students said, Ms. Moran, I don’t know anyone who’s ever written a book--” Moran recounted. “They helped me decide on the cover art, they watched the process, and sometimes I think my students are more excited than me. It’s been a real learning process for us all.”
Ms. Moran has been teaching science at Boardman Local Schools for 19 years and has served as advisor and coach to the BHS Envirothon Club for a decade. During the summer of 2019, she escorted a group of 17 Boardman High Students on a trip to Iceland. Their adventures included navigating the glacier named Solheimajokull and diving between diverging tectonic plates.