ISP faculty fellow honored

Institute for School Partnership Faculty Fellow David Kirk is being honored as an outstanding science educator by the Academy of Science – St. Louis.

Kirk, PhD, professor emeritus in the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences, has been chosen to receive the 2018 Science Educator Award. It recognizes a distinguished individual on the basis of outstanding contributions to science education or to the public understanding of science, engineering, or technology.

Kirk has spent his career teaching developmental biology and doing research on the evolutionary origins of multicellular organisms. He is internationally known for his research on Volvox carter development and evolution, and has co-authored numerous scientific publications on those topics and has authored a book on Volvox for Cambridge University Press. In retirement, he now devotes his time to making sure evolution is a key part of a sound K-12 science curriculum.

As a scientist, he believes teaching evolution is fundamental to understanding basic biological concepts. He has a great passion for educating and supporting teachers. Through his involvement with the ISP,  Kirk is committed to advancing K-12 science education by improving the way evolution education is taught in schools. He empowers teachers with the resources and skills they need to tackle this important topic. This includes, supplying the books for an evolution education book club for area science teachers, as well as joining in the discussions, and leading the all-day Darwin Day celebration held on the Danforth Campus, and funding the David and Marilyn Kirk Teacher Fellowship, which supports a local leader in evolution education.

Each year, the academy seeks nominations of outstanding women and men in science, engineering and technology who are known worldwide for their scientific contributions to research, industry and quality of life. Those recognized also have a record of excellence in communicating with the public or mentoring colleagues.

The awards represent recognition by St. Louis’ scientific community, the academy’s board of trustees and members of the Academy of Science-St. Louis.

January 2018 | by, Myra Lopez

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