Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mercer Middle School teacher wins Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence

L to R: Mr. Ettinger; Carol Pawlak, 
Amgen; Andra Lutz, Principal.
(Photo credit Jeffrey Luke)
On April 15, 2011, Robert Ettinger, a teacher at Mercer Middle School, was awarded the prestigious Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence with a prize of $10,000: $5,000 for the teacher and $5,000 for the school. The award ceremony in Mr. Ettinger’s classroom drew cheers from students.

Robert Ettinger was chosen to receive the Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence because of his creative teaching methods and effectiveness in the classroom.

"Mr. Ettinger has a passion for science and shares that passion with his students, not only to get them to learn science, but to love it as well,” says Carol Pawlak, who is responsible for Amgen’s philanthropy in the state. “Mr. Ettinger lives science and translates his teacher development and summer science adventures into exciting, relevant curriculum for his students. When Mr. Ettinger looks at his class, he doesn’t just see students, he sees scientists.”
Robert Ettinger, teacher,
Mercer Middle School

(Photo credit Jeffrey Luke)

His methods are successful; the number of students at Mercer Middle School meeting or exceeding standard on the WA state science test have more than doubled from 31% in 2008 to 69% in 2010. Mr. Ettinger’s goal is to have 90% of students pass the state science test.

About the Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence
Robert Ettinger is among four recipients of the 2011 Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence in Washington State.

The program was designed by biotechnology company Amgen to recognize teachers in the K-12 grade levels in public and private schools whose dedication to their student’s education has had a significant impact on the learning and interest of the future generation of scientists. Each teacher will receive an unrestricted $5,000 grant and their schools will receive a restricted $5,000 grant which can be used for the expansion or enhancement of a school science program, science resources, or the professional development of the school’s science teachers.

The Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence will be presented to 34 recipients throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada in locations where Amgen has a presence.

Nominations are solicited every fall with winners selected based on the following criteria: innovative science lesson plan showcasing novel teaching methods in the classroom, creativity and effectiveness of teaching methods and the plan for the use of grant money to improve science education resources in their schools. Since the program’s inception in 1992, Amgen has awarded more than $2.5 million dollars to educators who have made exceptional science-teaching contributions and who have had a measurable impact on the lives of their students. For more information visit: www.amgen.com/citizenship/aaste.html

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