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Annual French award supports teaching project

Christopher B. Mader and Matthew Nyman, both of Albuquerque, have won the New Mexico State University College of Education's 20th annual French Award for the Improvement of Secondary Teaching.

Christopher Mader and Matthew Nyman (NMSU photo by Michael Kiernan)

The $3,000 award, which was founded in 1981 by Ralph and Josiah French to honor the memory of their aunts, Fannie and Floy French, is given annually to encourage research and application of creative ideas for the improvement of secondary education.

Mader teaches ninth-grade geology at Sandia Preparatory School in Albuquerque, and Nyman is an adjunct professor in the earth and planetary sciences department and coordinator of the natural science program at the University of New Mexico. They plan to use the award to develop and evaluate a teachers resource manual of laboratory-based activities that help students learn geological concepts.

The materials will be made available during the fall 2000 semester to middle school science teachers in the Albuquerque public school system, Sandia Preparatory School and Albuquerque Academy.

In their proposal, Mader and Nyman said that improvements to science education in the United States must involve development of stimulating laboratory materials. This is especially true for geology, which appears to have lagged behind other science classes in terms of useful, inquiry-based lab exercises, they said.

The two were honored May 9 at a luncheon in Las Cruces attended by French Award co-founder Ralph French.

Photos available at http://kiernan.nmsu.edu/newsphoto.
For a print, call (505) 646-3221.
PHOTO: mader.jpg
CUTLINE: Christopher Mader (NMSU photo by Michael Kiernan)
PHOTO: nyman.jpg
CUTLINE: Matthew Nyman (NMSU photo by Michael Kiernan)

Chris J. Minnick
May 25, 2000