Congratulations to Washington’s ‘Science Champions’

When the Washington State Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) announced its 2012-2013 Science Education Advocate Awards this week, we were proud to see two WSGC collaborators among the four individuals being recognized.

The annual award recognizes outstanding individuals, organizations, and/or project teams who have exhibited exceptional support and advocacy for science education in the state. As part of the award, the recipients were given $5,000 each to be distributed to the not-for-profit public education entity of their choice for use in its efforts on behalf of science education.

George “Pinky” Nelson, recently retired director of WWU’s Space Grant scholarship and research programs, served as head of the Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMATE) Program at Western Washington University. Under his guidance, the program has been a national leader in K-12 science education and education research, as well as a valuable science and education resource to the state’s education community. His award will be donated to SMATE.

Jim White, the conservation guru of Chelan County Public Utility District, believes “students are attracted to science when they see that it is fun and exciting.” For the past two years, he has been collaborating with staff and teachers in the North Central Educational Service District (NCESD) on a hands-on STEM curriculum that could engage middle school students, meet state academic standards, and make students aware of STEM careers in their own communities. The result uses solar car kits to bring concepts like energy, physics and aerodynamics alive. Beginning next year, 11 school districts in the NCESD will receive kits for building model-size solar cars. White’s $5,000 prize will be awarded to the NCESD Foundation to buy 150 solar car kits.

Click here to learn more about Washington LASER and the other award recipients

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