Inspiring Teacher Awards

Now in its sixth year, the Inspiring Teacher Awards honors the seven astronauts tragically lost in the Challenger space shuttle accident by recognizing seven teachers who are inspiring the future generation of STEM professionals. This year’s program will take place on Thursday, January 27, 2022.

Nominate Your Teacher (current or former)

Current or former students whose teacher inspired them to pursue a STEM career can submit a nomination here. Past recipients have included elementary, secondary, and post-secondary educators whose students have gone on to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology, and other STEM-related fields.

Nomination Form must be filled out by the student who is nominating the teacher.


Sponsor Opportunities

Companies, organizations, and individuals – show your support for educators in the St. Louis region by becoming a sponsor of the 2022 Inspiring Teacher Awards. Information about the event and teacher nomination opportunities will be shared with public and private schools and universities throughout the region.

Last year, our event featured astronaut Bob Behnken as our keynote speaker and over 200 individuals who tuned into the virtual event.

The Inspiring Teacher Awards pays tribute to the Challenger crew and recognize teachers who seek to continue the mission of inspiring the future generation of explorers and innovators. Each year, the Awards honor seven teachers, each nominated by a current or former student whom they inspired to pursue a career path in STEM.

Award recipient tribute

Name/logo on event site

Name/logo on website

Recognition on social media

Recognition at event

Logo/name on invitation

Remarks at event

Investment amount




    2021 Inspiring Teacher Award

    You can view last year’s event here: 2021 Inspiring Teacher Awards

    These seven educators were selected as last year’s Inspiring Teacher Award recipients:

    Julie Haddock

    Julie Haddock, St. Joseph’s Academy
    Nominated by Anna McAtee, B.S. Environmental Science, B.A. Biology, Regis University

    Christine Hwande

    Christina Hwande, Captain Elementary School 
    Nominated by Tiffany Wysong, Geology/ Metallurgical Engineering student, Missouri S&T 

    Jennifer Martin

    Jennifer Martin, Saint Dominic High School
    Nominated by Evelyn Monzyk, student, Parkway Central Middle School

    Benda Schnettler

    Brenda Schnettler, McCluer North High School
    Nominated by Brooke Strautmann, Senior, McCluer North High School

    Christine Hwande

    Lisa Shipley, Green Trails Elementary
    Nominated by Mireia Carbonell Martinez, 5th grade student, Green Trails Elementary

    sarah winstead

    Venus D. Spain, Cardinal Ritter Prep
    Nominated by Holly Penny, Microbiologist, Vi-Jon

    sarah winstead

    Sarah Winstead, STEAM Academy At McCluer South Berkeley
    Nominated by Key’Mon Jenkins, Senior at STEAM Academy

    Major Contributors


    Employee Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis

    Monsanto Fund

    Emerson Charitable Trust

    Clark-Fox Family Foundation

    Express Scripts Foundation

    Albrecht Family Foundation

    The Saigh Foundation

    Missouri Space Grant Consortium