Physics Professor Named Science Teacher of the Year

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University physics professor Adam Johnston has been named the 2010 Outstanding University Science Educator by the Utah Science Teachers Association (USTA).

Nominated and selected by his peers for this honor, the award recognizes Johnston’s continued efforts to improve science education in grades from kindergarten through college. His contributions have been felt at the local, state and national levels.

“Adam’s continued energy and devotion to bettering science teaching at all levels, and his work with K-12 educators, make him a deserving recipient of this award,” said John Taylor, a USTA officer and biology professor at Southern Utah University.

Among his accomplishments, Johnston is credited as the co-founder and organizer of Science Education at the Crossroads, an interactive conference where science teachers can report on science education research. The national conference provides a place for researchers to develop ideas for future projects as well.

Johnston also works with elementary school teachers to help them develop better science education techniques through programs like the Partnership for Effective Science Teaching and Learning (PESTL). Since 2008, the PESTL program has offered professional development opportunities for more than 170 elementary school teachers from across Utah.

On campus, Johnston educates and mentors many of WSU’s science teaching majors. In addition to teaching physics, Johnston serves as the coordinator of WSU’s Teaching & Learning Forum, a setting where university instructors can collaborate and share their ideas and best practices. Johnston’s community outreach efforts include the Science in the Parks series, held at local parks in Ogden each summer. The series, which began in 2007, encourages elementary school children to get excited about science by offering daily hands-on activities and demonstrations based on scientific principles. Johnston joined the faculty at WSU in 1997.

Johnston will be formally honored by the USTA at a banquet on Feb. 11.

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Adam Johnston, physics professor
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