Group honors Chugiak biology teacher


November 14, 2013


The following news release is shared on behalf of the National Association of Biology Teachers. Congratulations to Chugiak High School's Aaron Kallas who is recognized for demonstrating outstanding and creative teaching of biotechnology in the classroom. He will be presented the award next week in Atlanta during the organization's professional development conference.


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Aaron Kallas Honored With Ron Mardigian Biotechnology Teaching Award


National Association of Biology Teachers is proud to honor Aaron Kallas with the 2013 Ron Mardigian Biotechnology Teaching Award from NABT. Aaron received a B.S. in Biology Education and M.Ed. from Southern Utah University and is currently teaching biology and a dedicated biotechnology course at Chugiak High School in the Anchorage School District. He is also a program coordinator of the University of Alaska Fairbanks' BioPREP program - a NIH SEPA project providing biotechnology education outreach to Alaskan secondary life science teachers.


As a strong advocate for hands-on inquiry-based learning for many years, Aaron involves his students in a variety of locally relevant, problem solving, biotechnology infused activities that provide contemporary perspectives in the biological sciences. His work has greatly impacted educators statewide by presenting numerous professional development workshops in a variety of settings and helping schools integrate biotechnology. His efforts have delivered authentic science experiences to countless students in both the urban communities and rural native villages of Alaska.


"Having the opportunity to share biotechnology and help mold our next generation of scientists has been an incredibly satisfying experience as an educator," said Aaron. "I feel honored to help shuttle in this new science to our students and enjoy discovering the new ways in which it helps me grow professionally.


Aaron's passion for guiding students in their research endeavors has led to multiple local, state and national award winning projects. Not surprisingly, his efforts have been honored with many nominations and awards for teaching excellence, including the 2013 Outstanding Science Teacher at the Alaska Intel ISEF Science and Engineering Fair.


NABT will honor Aaron with the Ron Mardigian Biotechnology Teaching Award, which will be presented at the 2013 Honors Luncheon at the NABT Professional Development Conference in Atlanta, GA.


The Ron Mardigian Biotechnology Teaching Award
The Ron Mardigian Biotechnology Teaching Award, sponsored by Bio-Rad Laboratories, recognizes a teacher who demonstrates outstanding and creative teaching of biotechnology in the classroom. The award is given to secondary school teachers in even numbered years, college/university instructors in odd numbered years. The award may be given for either a short-term series of activities or a long-term integration of biotechnology into the curriculum. The lessons must include active laboratory work and encompass major principles as well as processes of biotechnology. Criteria for selection include creativity, scientific accuracy and currency, quality of laboratory practice and safety, ease of replication, benefit to students and potential significance beyond the classroom. The award includes a recognition plaque to be presented at the NABT Professional Development Conference, one year of complimentary membership to NABT and $1500 (up to $500 toward travel to the NABT Professional Development Conference and $1000 in Bio-Rad materials). The application deadline is March 15, 2013.

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