AAPG Foundation Seeking the 2017 Teacher of the Year

We want to honor a deserving K-12 Earth Science Teacher

Do you know a teacher who is deserving of recognition for their efforts to inspire young geoscientists? The AAPG Foundation is looking to honor its 2017 Teacher of the Year (TOTY). Nominations and applications are now being accepted.

The Teacher of the Year award, funded and presented annually by the AAPG Foundation, is granted to an outstanding teacher within the United States who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of geoscience education.

Six teachers across the country will be identified as finalists, each from one of AAPG’s six U.S. geographic Sections (Eastern, Gulf Coast, Mid-Continent, Pacific, Rocky Mountain and Southwest). After final nominations are decided, the TOTY Committee will convene to pick the final winner of the 2017 Teacher of the Year award.

The TOTY winner will receive a $6,000 prize, half of which is given to the teacher for personal use and the other half to his or her school for educational purposes under the teacher's supervision. The TOTY winner also will receive an expense-paid trip for two to the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Houston, April 2-5, 2017 to receive the award.

Each semi-finalist will receive an honorable mention and a $500 cash prize for their nominations.

For her years of dedication and her passion for instilling in her students a love for the natural world and their role within it, the AAPG Foundation chose Karen Waterbury as 2016’s Teacher of the Year.

Waterbury, a fourth and fifth grade science teacher in Mount Carmel, Ill., believes teaching Earth sciences matches the educational needs of children today.

Reflecting on her own indifference with science when she was younger, she can appreciate what today’s children require in a modern classroom.

“The students of today have to be busy, have to be interactive. That’s the group of children we are raising,” she said. “The more hands-on things that we can do, the more group activities, the better.”

“Anything you help them develop young is going to take hold and they’re going to appreciate it so much more later,” said Waterbury. “You can read a book and find out information, but a hands-on approach (of science) at an early age will create a love and foster a basic understanding of why it’s important.”

Karen’s excellence is demonstrated through her belief that children don’t want to see an experiment – they want to do it.

Don’t miss your chance to honor K-12 geoscience excellence; visit the AAPG Foundation website. The deadline is Jan. 15, 2017.

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