Justin Lovrien | SD EPSCoR STEM Teacher Leaders

I am Justin Lovrien and teach at Brandon Valley High School. This will be my 20th year at BVHS, teaching a variety of courses but primarily biology, AP biology and Dual-enrollment biology.  I love teaching all science subjects, but have a particular interest in biology as it relates directly to some of my hobbies (beekeeping, raising chickens and goats, woodworking).  I try, as often as possible, to bring these hobbies into the classroom to illustrate the relevance of science to all students, not just those planning to major in the sciences after graduation.

In my career, I have been involved with a number of projects related to science education.  I earned my undergraduate degree at Augustana College and my M.S. in Science Education from Montana State University in 2004.  I served on the South Dakota Science Standards committee to complete the 2015 standards.  In 2006 I earned the Brandon Valley School District Teacher of the Year award and in 2012 I was named the NABT South Dakota Outstanding Biology Teacher.  As part of the NABT award, I was able to attend the national convention in Atlanta, where I had the thrill of meeting Dr. Eugenie Scott (in the picture!).  She has dedicated her professional life to keeping evolution education in our schools!

My lesson is designed to bridge biology and geology (many schools struggle to integrate the Earth and Space Science standards in SD).  It involves a few ideas on how to teach plate tectonics, methods for aging rocks and fossils, and giving students an idea of how to learn about the ancient environments of South Dakota.