Boston Science Teacher Receives 2016 Shell Science Teaching Award
Submitted by National Science Teachers Association
Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association have announced that Aaron Osowiecki, a science teacher at Boston Latin School in Boston, Mass., is the recipient of the 2016 Shell Science Teaching Award. Osowiecki received his award at a special banquet and ceremony at the NSTA National Conference on Science Education held in Nashville, Tenn.
“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.”
Spending years in lecture-based classrooms, Osowiecki began teaching with the intent of developing an experiential environment where students would make observations, share ideas, and collaboratively develop an understanding of the world around them.
“In my classroom, students design and conduct experiments, solve problems, and apply concepts while I facilitate,” says Osowiecki. “Students realize that I expect them to collaborate and think on their own.”
In Osowiecki’s classroom, students support each other as they progress through the material at their own pace. Osowiecki’s students learn physics just by doing physics. He supports his students and gives them a nudge when needed. Osowiecki encourages his students to discuss and debate tricky problems. He says it is the best way to get them engaged in the material.
Osowiecki’s classroom and his Energizing Physics curriculum embraces the vision of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as students learn disciplinary core ideas through science and engineering practices. His contributions have been recognized nationally by the Intel Schools of Distinction, which recognized the Boston Latin School’s Science Department as one of the three most innovative high school science programs in the nation.
“Mr. Osowiecki represents the best of the teaching profession,” said NSTA President Carolyn Hayes. “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. Osowiecki for his ingenuity, inspiration and world-class education he provides to his students every day.”
Osowiecki received the Shell Science Teaching Award for his positive impact on his students and school 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 Osowiecki, two finalists were selected. Russell “Ben” Walker, a science teacher at Romig Middle School in Anchorage, Ala., and Joel Truesdell, a chemistry teacher at Kamehameha Schools in Hilo, Hawaii, received all-expense paid trips to attend the conference and were recognized for their achievements at the awards banquet and ceremony in Nashville.
For more information about the Shell Science Teaching Award and the NSTA Teacher Awards Program, http://www.nsta.org/about/awards.aspx .