What does it take for a teacher to win the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching?

In a word, passion. And you spot it almost instantly when you visit Iowa State graduate Brandon Schrauth’s first grade classroom. His students are walking, talking and thinking like scientists.

That kind of impact on young minds was exactly why Brandon came to Iowa State to become a teacher. While earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees here, he developed an understanding of teaching behaviors, instructional strategies and content knowledge to be an effective educator.

That’s why Iowa State focuses on helping students find their life’s calling, so that when they graduate and go out in the world, they’ll be an inspiration to others. It might be a leading astrophysicist, a Broadway producer or an award-winning journalist.

As for Brandon, it must’ve been an amazing feeling receiving his award from President Obama last spring. Second only to seeing the sparkle in the eyes of his future scientists.