Laura Finney, a science teacher at Donnell Middle School in Findlay, OH has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 Gustav Ohaus Award. The award has been presented annually since 1969 to recognize innovations which have the potential to improve science teaching at the elementary, middle or high school level.
Ms. Finney was selected for her "A 'Cool' Look At The Design Process" lesson that teaches variable effects to eighth graders in her classroom. Ms. Finney begins by asking her students to brainstorm questions about the effects of outside variables on the melting process of ice, and uses those questions as a jumping off point for forming different hypotheses.
Once her class developed a range of hypotheses and experimental questions, Ms. Finney and her students chose to focus on the most common questions and were encouraged to create their own experiment process, beginning with taking their questions and developing them into a 6-step experimental procedure. Working in groups, the students were able to test their theories about the melting rates of ice in a customized way that allowed for deeper engagement and enrichment and exposed misconceptions they may have had.
As part of the award, Finney has received a personalized Gustav Ohaus Award, a $1,500 cash prize and a trip to the 2016 National Conference of the National Science Teachers in Nashville, TN. Donnell Middle School will also be the recipient of $1,000 worth of OHAUS scales and balances, which will be utilized in various science courses.
Learn more about the winning submission.