Winnipeg Jets January 2024 Teacher of the Month

Future GoalsTM Program

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Winnipeg Jets January 2024 Teacher of the Month


Maria Nickel


Ecole Stonewall Centennial School

Classroom Team:

Tell us about yourself!

I wanted to inspire kids to dare to dream mighty things so I became a teacher to be that light for kids to see that anything is possible I am a dyslexic learner and openly share that with kids to show them that you can achieve with hard work and passion-I love that spark kids have when they fall in love with an experiment that gives them that wow and aha moment- it is priceless to see when they learn a concept from science on paper and then see it in action and they understand it. I love it even more when my students say” are we doing a cool experiment again today?” or “ this is my fav class, I love science. That warms my heart knowing the kids love to come to learn in my classes.

What is your favorite part of the Future Goals™ program? How do you see STEM in the game of hockey?

My favorite part of this program is the reaction from my kids ” this is so cool Mrs Nickel”, “it’s hard but fun”.”I get to do hockey online”, I love the variety to the program, It is STEM based, it’s the kids fav hockey team Wpg Jet. I see that the program is building those 21st century skills in my kids- teamwork, collaboration, critical and computational thinking skills. It is a high level of STEM engagement for my kids and how it relates to sports- the hook to love science through sport.

Who is your favorite NHL® Player and why?

Its a tie between Adam Lowry & Josh Morrissey- for their quiet leadership, commitment to excellence, strong passion for hockey and community mindset. I love Harry Potter so does Josh- I turn my classroom lab into a Hogwarts classroom- do STEM Harry Potter themed all day for Halloween, I love dogs so does Lowry. I love their play style how they read the ice so well, awe inspiring how they get in the play fast to help the team win big- slow and steady wins the grind of an NHL season- they do the job

If you played hockey, what position would you play and why?

I played Sponge hockey on a Coed and Women’s team for years- played defense and goalie. I love both jobs because in defense you have to keep the other team away from your goalie and I loved being able to push them or the puck away from them & protect your goalie. I love that you can also be an offensive defenseman to score as well. I also love being goalie and being that brick-wall to stop the opponent and help your defense and the team. To do anything possible to stop that puck is what I love.