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AAAS, Subaru Announce Winners of Essay Writing Competition at Annual Meeting in Boston
Six science teachers have been awarded the 2008 AAAS/Subaru Essay Writing Competition Prize for their essays on designing science lesson plans and integrating technology in the classroom.
The prizes, announced at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Mass., recognized four first-prize and two honorable-mention teachers for their wealth of knowledge about bringing innovative science into the classroom.
The winners all received a free pass to the Annual Meeting, a stipend to cover portions of their transportation, and a free one-year subscription to Science Books and Films, a review journal for all sciences and ages.
"This year's essay winners shared incredible stories of how they bring science into the classroom," said Suzanne Thurston, senior program associate in AAAS Education and Human Resources. "Their innovative methods for helping students make connections to science are to be commended."
Currently in its sixth year, the competition received entries from teachers around the country describing methods for teaching science effectively and creatively.
The entries, required to be 1,500 words or fewer, were evaluated by a AAAS team for clarity, coherence, overall concept development, and grammar.
In one essay, Lisa Austin, a teacher at Mahoney Middle School in South Portland, Maine, wrote about her course on disease and epidemiology, in which she uses a fictional disease outbreak scenario activity on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The online activity shows students how diseases spread, she said.
"[A]s a middle-school educator, I am not specifically seeking to train a future generation of scientists," said Austin. "I consider it far more important to inspire lifelong science literacy. I teach toward developing an informed citizenry whose members can effectively weigh difficult science issues."
AAAS/Subaru Essay Writing Competition Prize Winners
Teaching Phylogeny With the Great Halloween Faunal Assemblage
Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth, St. Paul, Minnesota
The Joy of Germs: "Is it Catching?"
Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, Maine
Middle School Students and Scientists Collaborating in Research Through Electronic Communication
James Monroe Middle School, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Bad Hair Day
The Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, Connecticut
Laptops Create Smiles and Inquiry
Buffalo Public School # 80, Highgate Heights, Buffalo, New York
Enhancing the Inquiry Classroom with Historical Science
Olmsted School, Buffalo, NY
18 February 2008