bradleyKenilworth Junior High teacher Laura Bradley, who brought National Novel Writing Month to the classroom and rebooted the school’s morning news program, was just named the winner of a national innovation award.

Bradley was one of ten teachers around the country to win a first place Innovation Nation Teacher Innovator Award from The Henry Ford and Litton Entertainment, meant to recognize educators who are “using the classroom to inspire innovation, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking among their students.” The Henry Ford is a history museum complex in Dearborn, Mich. that attracts visitors from around the country.

A team of judges chose the winners based on their original, creative approaches to teaching.

Bradley said in her application that innovation plays a front and center role in the digital media class she created for the Kenilworth in Petaluma. In the class, students take on projects like 3D architecture, info-graphic design, computer coding and stop-motion animations.

“I teach (students) that in this class, they will be innovators, free to choose and design their own projects. They learn that success comes after tinkering, trying, failing and trying again,” she wrote.

Bradley and the other winners will get to spend a week this summer at The Henry Ford, learning about innovation and being celebrated for their work.

Extra Credit is back online after a four-month hiatus while the author was on maternity leave. Have education-related news you’d like to share? Please send your ideas by email to jamie.hansen@pressdemocrat.com or call 521-5205.