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LOVE OF MATH, SCIENCE LED TO AWARDS

Utahns Rebecca Hunt and Darrell Spendlove teach all subjects in their elementary school classes. But their handling of math and science won them Presidential Awards for Excellence.

Hunt, who teaches sixth grade at Kaysville Elementary School, won the award for her math teaching. "I think my attitude helps my students more than anything. I love math, and I think it rubs off," she said after receiving her award in Washington.She also she uses peer tutoring, hands-on learning, instructional television and teaching how to solve real-life problems.

Spendlove, who teaches third grade at Lewiston Elementary School in Cache County, said, "I use science as a vehicle to apply everything else they learn. If they read about flying, we may make paper airplanes and experiment with airplane design."

His students also set up an "Incredible Edibles Restaurant," ran a mail service, designed and marketed their own products and used tools to take apart small appliances.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching is considered the highest award from government for math and science teachers.

The winners received trips to Washington, certificates signed by President Clinton and a $7,500 grant for their schools to use for math and science equipment or activities. They also had a reception Friday with Vice President Al Gore.

Such awards were given to 107 elementary school teachers from the nation's states and territories.