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H/Posts & Press Releases/Da Vinci Science Center Announces Hall of Fame Award Winners

Da Vinci Science Center Announces Hall of Fame Award Winners

The Da Vinci Science Center will hold its 20th anniversary Hall of Fame Awards Gala on Saturday, April 27, at the ArtsQuest Center at Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, Pa.  The gala, which runs from 5:30–9:30 p.m., features a cocktail reception, dinner, silent auction, live auction, special pledge appeal, and the awards ceremony. 

This year’s event will celebrate the endless curiosity of Leonardo da Vinci and the modern day achievements inspired by his legacy. We will be honoring students and educators who show a unique passion for science inside and outside the classroom, as well as community leaders who have made an impact on the Science Center through their support of science education.

For information contact:  Judy Belaires, 484-664-1002, Ext. 102.  

2019 Hall of Fame Award Winners

Leonardo’s Legacy Award

This new award for 2019 is given to individuals, companies, or organizations that have played a significant role in integrating the mission of Leonardo da Vinci’s horse with the Da Vinci Science Center.

The Dent Family and Charles C. Dent (posthumously), represented by Peter Dent

Grand Maestro Corporate Award

This award honors a Da Vinci Science Center partner in recognition of its substantial contributions to the scientific community and the Center.

B. Braun Medical

Spirit of Verrocchio Mentorship Award

This award recognizes community leaders for their passionate mentorship of the Da Vinci Science Center and its mission. The award is named after a 15th century mentor to a young Leonardo da Vinci.

Jack Pfunder, president and CEO of Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), and MRC

Distinguished Female STEM Leadership Award

This award recognizes female STEM professionals or organizations for their leadership in advancing STEM opportunities for women and girls and their role in fostering mentorship experiences for girls aspiring to STEM professions. 

Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania

Young Inventor Award

This award recognizes a student who has accomplished a substantial scientific achievement; the earning of a United States Provisional Patent or a full United States Patent through the Da Vinci Science Center’s Inventors Lab Program. 

Hayden Schmidt, Emmaus High School, grade 9

Educator Excellence Awards

STEM Leadership Award

This award honors teachers who demonstrate leadership in their school or district and an ability to engage others to make substantive improvements or advances in STEM education.

Marisa Barilka, STEM Coordinator, Valley View School District

Educator Excellence Award

This award recognizes teachers who are providing the best possible STEM education to their students, day after day, year after year. Their work should focus on depth of student engagement and inquiry, cross-curricular integration, and real world applications and connections.

Anna Leigh Conway, Carbon Career & Technical Institute, Science Teacher grades 9-12

New Educator Excellence Award

This award identifies educators, in their second to fifth years of teaching, who show promising growth in their work.  They have created deeply engaging, inquiry-focused classrooms with cross-curricular integration and real world applications, and they participate actively in communities of practice to support their own learning and advancement.

Graceanne Ruggiero, Freedom HS, Bethlehem Area School District, Science Teacher grades 9-12

Student Excellence Awards

The Student Excellence Awards honor high school students who not only excel in science academically, but seek to expand their knowledge and leadership skills outside of the classroom.

Matthew Liu, Parkland School District, Grade 12
Rhea Malhotra, Moravian Academy, Grade 11
Sriyaa Suresh, Parkland School District, Grade 12
Vidhya Thiyagarajan, Lehigh Valley Academy, Grade 12

Erel STEM Scholarship Award 

Madison Yeager, Schuylkill Haven Area School District, Grade 12

This award recognizes an outstanding female high school senior who has demonstrated strong academic ability and a commitment to learning, achievement, and serving others in the community.