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Penn Biology Teacher Presidential Award Finalist

Penn High School Biology teacher John Gensic has been selected as a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science). Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

Mr. Gensic will be recognized with other honorees by the Indiana Department of Education at a luncheon Friday, April 15, 2016 in Indianapolis. The National Science Foundation convenes a national selection committee (composed of prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science educators, district level personnel and classroom teachers) to review the applications of the state finalists. That committee then recommends to NSF up to two finalists in mathematics or science from each state for the PAEMST.  

The national PAEMST winners are expectected to be announced Summer 2016. Each awardee receives a certificate signed by the President of the United States and a $10,000 award from NSF. Awardees and their guests are honored during events that take place in Washington, DC. These events include an award ceremony, celebratory receptions, professional development programs, and discussions with policy-makers on how to improve mathematics and science (including computer science) education. Since 1983, more than 4,400 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. 

In the summer of 2015, Gensic was one of 15 educators chosen from more than 60 applicants, to work alongside scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a research project on Lake Michigan. As part of the Lake Michigan Shipboard Science Workshop, Gensic and the scientists worked on onboard the research vessel Lake Guardian from July 12-18. Gensic and the other teachers evaluated the presence of microplastics and assessed the impact of aquatic invasive species—particularly zebra and quagga mussels—on Lake Michigan’s ecosystem. Samples were analyzed onboard the research vessel’s laboratories. You can read more about about Gensic’s research and experience by clicking here.