Science Education Partnership wins science advocacy prize

Teacher training and support efforts awarded $5,000
Dr. Nancy Hutchison
Dr. Nancy Hutchison directs the Science Education Partnership, which has won Science Champions: Science Education Advocate Award for supporting science education in the state of Washington. Center News File Photo

The Science Education Partnership, the Hutchinson Center’s professional development program for high-school science teachers, has won a prestigious Science Champions: Science Education Advocate Award for their support of science education in the state of Washington.

The honor, given by the Pacific Science Center and the Washington State Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform, will be presented to Dr. Nancy Hutchison, SEP’s director, May 3 in Seattle at a roundtable discussion about science, technology, engineering and math education and preparing youth to be competitive in a technology-based society.

SEP, now in its 20th year, works to establish long-term partnerships between teachers and the life sciences research community. The year-long program includes a 13-day summer session in which teachers work with each other, lead teachers and SEP staff to gain skills and expertise in molecular biology and genetics. The participants also spend a week working side-by-side with a scientist mentor in a research laboratory. During the school year, the teachers use SEP’s kit loan program so that students can work with real research tools and concepts in their classrooms.

Hutchison said the award’s $5,000 prize will help support SEP’s kit loan program. Funding for the award is provided by The Boeing Company.

Other 2010 winners include Dr. Peter Dallas Finch, assistant superintendent for Yakima’s West Valley School District; Dr. Daniel Grünbaum, biological oceanography professor at the University of Washington; Dr. Stamatis Vokos, physics professor at Seattle University; and Vancouver’s Heritage High School Energy Smart program.

[Adapted from a Pacific Science Center news release]

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