SAN FRANCISCO (October 11, 2021)—The Exploratorium is honored to have been recognized by the California Association of Science Educators (CASE) with a 2021 Distinguished Contribution Award, presented at the 2021 Virtual California Science Education Conference on October 8, 2021.
The Exploratorium was nominated for and selected to receive the award for “the significant contribution to science education in California, and which, through years of leadership and service, has truly made a positive impact on the quality of science teaching and learning.”
CASE also highlighted the nonprofit’s more recent efforts to support science learning in new topics and over the course of the pandemic, saying, “their recent contributions include advocating for climate change and environmental justice, assisting with the implementation of NGSS, and providing engaging online learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Exploratorium has been a professional home for phenomena-based learning for over 40 years. Since 2016, the organization has been building a K-12 Science Leader Network among science educators by partnering with county offices, district leads, and teacher leaders, and equipping educators with high-quality science resources aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Staff educators at the Exploratorium quickly adapted to the needs of science teachers across the state of California when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, focusing on providing relevant and responsive resources, including professional learning opportunities, affinity spaces, online communities of practice, and collaboration time for science teachers and leaders. The Exploratorium team also created new online resources such as a learning toolbox with videos and activities that helped explain different aspects of the COVID-19 virus, a video series, Hungry for Science, exploring the science of cooking, and even a video series that allows people to re-create Exploratorium exhibits at home.
“It is an extraordinary honor for our organization to be recognized with this award from CASE,” said Jessica Parker, senior director of educator engagement at the Exploratorium. “Not only is the CASE organization a tireless advocate for science and NGSS standards, but it is also a tremendous resource for educators across the State. To be honored by an organization as impactful as CASE is deeply meaningful to us.”