Educator Excellence Awards honor educators in grades K-12 who inspire enthusiasm for science with innovative approaches. Award recipients are given a free Da Vinci Science Center field trip or traveling science program (valued up to $1,000).
Educators can be nominated for three honors: the Teacher Excellence Award, the STEM Leadership Award, and the New Educator Excellence Award.
Teacher Excellence Award: This award is meant to identify teachers who are providing the best possible STEM education to their students, day after day, year after year. Teachers who work as an integrated team can be nominated as a team. Award criteria will give priority to depth of student engagement and inquiry, cross-curricular integration, and real world applications and connections. It need not be a late-career award, but teachers should be able to show at least 3-5 years of experience using exemplary methods.
STEM Leadership Award: This award is meant to identify teachers who demonstrate leadership in their school or district to improve STEM education. This award is not based necessarily on a teacher’s own teaching, per se, but rather her or his ability to engage others to make substantive improvements or advances in STEM education. Teams of teachers who have demonstrated leadership are welcome to be nominated as a team. Award criteria will give priority to the depth of engagement of other teachers and administrators, engagement of the community, and the response to feedback, evaluation, or other data.
New Educator Excellence Award: This award is meant to identify newer educators who show promising growth in their work. Award criteria will give priority to the teacher’s engagement in a community (or communities) of practice, progress in creating a deeply engaging, inquiry-focused classroom that supports student discourse in STEM, cross-curricular integration, and real world applications, and the teacher’s use of feedback and data to support her or his own learning and advancement.
- Jan. 27, 2020: Nomination deadline
- Feb. 19, 2020: Nominees notified of finalist status by this date
- Feb. 26, 2020: Finalist interviews with Selection Committee (20 min. interview, between 5-9 p.m.)*
- March 2, 2020: Winners notified by this date
- April 25, 2020: Da Vinci Science Center Gala (5-9:30 p.m.)*
* Educator nominees should hold these two evenings open in the event they are selected.
Contact: Karen Knecht, 484-664-1002, Ext. 108