Excellence in Physics Education Award and AAAS Leadership in Science Education Prize

The winner of the 2009 Excellence in Physics Education Award of the American Physical Society goes to the Two Year College Workshop Team. The award consists of an honorarium of $5,000 and support to attend the April APS meeting to give invited talks. The leaders of the Team are Curtis Hieggelke (Joliet Junior College), Thomas O’Kuma (Lee College), and David Maloney (Indiana University – Purdue University - Fort Wayne). The citation reads: "For leadership in introducing physicists in two-year colleges to new instructional methods, in developing new materials based on physics education research, and in fostering faculty networking, particularly in two-year colleges."

The Excellence in Physics Education Award is the only APS award specifically targeted at a group, although other prizes and awards often go to multiple recipients. The endowment, which funds this $5,000 award and travel for the recipients, must remain above $100,000 with a nominal 5% annual return. The endowment during these first three years has been adequate to fund the award and travel but the amount available has been tight. I’d like to see the total in the endowment grow somewhat so that there is never an issue of having enough to fund travel for the recipients. Can you help? You can make a tax deductible donation to build up this endowment by sending your gift to Darlene Logan, Director of Development, American Physical Society, One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, or you can make an online gift by going to the APS homepage www.aps.org and clicking on the "Support APS" banner halfway down the page.

AAAS Leadership in Science Education Prize

Congratulations to Diane Riendeau, Deerfield High School, winner of the 2008 AAAS Leadership in Science Education Prize for High School Teachers. Riendeau’s "Make It, Take It, Teach It" program gives students a chance to observe basic physics concepts as they build a simple object such as a kaleidoscope and use their creation to teach their parents about reflection, for example. The combination of hands-on learning and teaching by the students—along with positive feedback from their families—has raised physics comprehension and interest, according to data collected on the program.

The annual prize of $1000, supported by AAAS member Edith Neimark, recognizes a high school teacher who has contributed significantly to the AAAS goal of advancing science education by developing an innovative and demonstratably effective classroom strategy, activing, or program. The prize also includes a visit to the Shanghai International Forum on Science Literacy of Precollege Students.

This article is not peer refereed and represents solely the views of the author and not necessarily the views of APS.