ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association today announced that Jose Rivas, a physics and engineering instructor at Lennox Math, Science, and Technology Academy in Lennox, Calif. is the recipient of the 2015 Shell Science Teaching Award. Rivas received his award at a special banquet and ceremony at the NSTA National Conference on Science Education held March 12-15 in Chicago.
“Science teachers who exhibit exemplary instructional methods and enthusiastically engage students in inquiry based practices improve student interest, achievement and pursuit of technical disciplines,” said Dr. Frazier Wilson, VP Shell Oil Company Foundation and Manager of Social Investment. “They promote core innovation skills - critical thinking, exploration and discovery – all needed for 21st century careers.”
Although he originally trained as an engineer, Rivas has devoted himself to science education for more than a decade. He models his labs and activities on what scientists and engineers do every day. Through formative assessments, Rivas guides and monitors their learning while giving students the opportunity to take risks, make mistakes, and explore them.
“Students cannot become learners if they cannot reflect and grow from mistakes they make when learning. In every activity they receive they must justify and defend their solution,” said Rivas.
Rivas has built partnerships with community and industry sponsors, which has helped supply his classroom with the tools he needs to challenge his students to design and test airplane wings and opportunities to explore terminal wind velocity while skydiving indoors. He also fosters student interaction with top engineering firms through a mentoring program and design challenges.
Rivas has earned several education awards, including a commendation from Los Angeles County, Carlston Family Foundation Outstanding Teacher of America Award, Sigma Xi Research Honor Society Science Teacher of the Year Award, and the Amgen Science Excellence Award. He shares his experience with other educators through a variety of professional development venues—as the math/science department coach and school-wide professional development coordinator at Lennox Academy, co-chair and presenter at the Carlston Educational Symposium, keynote speaker at the 2012 University of California Davis Academic Literacy Summit, and more.
“Mr. Rivas represents the best of the teaching profession,” said Dr. Juliana Texley, NSTA President. “We are proud of his demonstrated excellence and his commitment to teaching and learning. On behalf of NSTA, I offer my congratulations and thanks to Mr. Rivas for his ingenuity, inspiration and world-class education he provides to his students every day.”
Rivas received the Shell Science Teaching Award for his positive impact on his students, school and community through exemplary classroom science teaching. He received a $10,000 cash prize from Shell and an all-expense paid trip to attend the NSTA National Conference.
In addition to Rivas, two finalists were selected. Morgan Cuthbert, a science teacher at Frank Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth, Maine, and Shawndra Fordham, a biotechnology teacher at Rock Canyon High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo., received all-expense paid trips to attend the conference and were recognized for their achievements at the awards banquet and ceremony in Chicago.
For more information about the Shell Science Teaching Award and the NSTA Teacher Awards Program, click here.
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), www.nsta.org, is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes more than 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.
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