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 Teachers, Community Leaders Honored By the San Diego Science Alliance

​The San Diego Science Alliance recognized 10 individual and community partners during the eleventh annual Partnership Awards on March 10, 2007 at Biogen Idec.

The mission of the non-profit San Diego Science Alliance (SDSA) is to enhance science literacy in K – 12 education throughout San Diego County by working with leaders from industry, education and the community.

"The Partnership Award recipients for 2007 represent the outstanding efforts that are underway within our schools and community to engage students and inspire them to excel in science and related courses," says Mickie Beyer, Executive Director of SDSA.
Awards were presented in four categories:

Teacher Awards: Rosa Lemus, Pauma Elementary School. Students at Pauma Elementary School would not be able to experience science workshops and other science-based programs outside of the classroom were not for Lemus' willingness to give up weekends and evenings to transport and chaperone her students. One of her students, Maria Morales, said it best: "Mrs. Lemus is never selfish with her time, keeps all her promises and is the best role model I could ever have. All that she has taught me will always be with me for the rest of my life."

Wendy Slijk, Canyon Crest Academy. Slijk was also was honored with a 2007 "Teacher" Partnership Award. Bringing live science experiences to her classroom, and active involvement with partnerships, have enabled generations of Slijk's students to experience education through authentic field study. She said working with students on environmental issues and empowering them to create change is the zenith of her career.

Administrator Awards: Nancy Giberson, Assistant Superintendent, San Diego County Office of Education. Giberson coordinates with the San Diego Science Alliance to promote the work of SDSA throughout the county's 42 school districts. Her efforts to enhance science education have helped school administrators throughout San Diego understand that science is a priority area in California's standards-based education system. During her leadership of the California Instructional Steering Committee, she commissioned science coordinators throughout the state to develop a Science Adoption Toolkit. >

Steve Mull, Principal, Lakeside Middle School. For 12 years Mull chaired the San Diego County Elementary Science Field Day, a hands-on event for more than 500 students to demonstrate their passion for science. Under his leadership this event has become one of the marquee elementary science events in the region.
Volunteer Awards: Cathy Akin, Akin and Associates, has served for more than five years as chair of the San Diego Science Alliance High Tech Fair, which brings industry and students together at an annual forum that excites students about math and science and encourages them to pursue science education beyond high school. This year over 1,500 students and 45 industry exhibitors participated and students saw dramatic examples of how science is applied in industry.
Carolyn Neilson, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. has served as an essential member of SDSA's High Tech Fair team. Her contribution to the High Tech Fair includes designing and updating the floor plan for the event. She also adds her marketing expertise and organizational skills to the planning process and helped deliver an exciting and dynamic environment at the fair.

Dr. Rick Olson, Professor, University of San Diego School of Engineering has served on the SDSA Robotics Committee since its inception and actively works to keep robotics programs accessible to teachers and students. He volunteers countless hours in robotics professional development programs and for the past two years served as host of the Southern California Regional Botball Tournament and teacher training from the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics.

Partner Awards: San Diego Supercomputer Center's TeacherTECH Academy at the University of California, San Diego helps teachers use technology to enhance teaching and support students. An education outreach program of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, TeacherTECH extended its reach over the past two years to 1,200 educators across San Diego County and into Baja California.

Conservation and Research for Endangered Species Center, San Diego Wild Animal Park is the largest zoo-based multidisciplinary research team in the world. Biodiversity conservation is the theme that unites the work of CRES, and scientific innovation is the means by which CRES achieves its success. CRES scientists generate, share, and apply scientific knowledge vital to the conservation of animals, plants, and habitats, locally and internationally. Since 2005, the CRES team has welcomed SDSA's BE WiSE Overnight program to the research facility, offering girls across the county the opportunity to explore an overnight scientific adventure.

Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair. Each year thousands of science students from San Diego and Imperial Counties display the products of their imaginations and labor at the annual Science and Engineering Fair. More than 800 top students from grades 7 through 12 participate, bringing their work to be evaluated by professional scientists.

SDSA was formed in 1995 as a non-profit consortium of leaders from business, education and scientific institutions in San Diego County committed to enhancing science literacy in K-12 education.