Science Center Announces Seven Carnegie Science Award Winners for Leadership in Education

Carnegie Science Center have announced seven Carnegie Science Award winners in recognition of their leadership in education. Awardees will be honored during a formal celebration at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland on Friday, May 12, 2017.

Elementary Educator

  • Alison Francis
  • Fox Chapel Area School District

A leader in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education at Fox Chapel School District, Alison Francis dedicates her career to making science accessible to young people. She developed a Creativity and Literacy Program for children and their families to experiment with technology tools and established a Digital Dream Studio for students and teachers to explore game-based learning together.

Elementary Educator honorable mention: Dave Tomko, of Sharon City School District Middle Level Educator

  • Brett Slezak
  • Allegheny Valley School District

A Health and Physical Education teacher at Allegheny Valley School District, Brett Slezak is redefining in a very innovative way what “health and wellness” means for his middle school students. Most recently, Mr. Slezak secured funding to create opportunities for students to explore sustainable wellness through outdoor activities, such as gardening and collecting rainwater.

Middle Level Educator honorable mention: Brian Grindle, of Yough Intermediate Middle School High School Educator

  • Julia Metz
  • Hopewell High School

A Chemistry teacher and Science Department chairperson at Hopewell High School, Julia Metz fosters 21st century skills in her students to prepare them for life after high school. Her lessons focus on creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration, which are essential skills to prepare students for STEM -related jobs. She co-authored a book titled Inquiry by Design, a guide for teachers on project-based learning.

High School Educator honorable mention: Fred Peskorski, of Upper St. Clair School District Leadership in STEM Education

  • Leonard Kisslinger
  • Carnegie Mellon University

A professor of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University, Leonard Kisslinger is devoted to STEM outreach for students in disadvantaged schools and communities. Dr. Kisslinger founded the Physics Concepts Outreach Program, which has provided more than 500 middle school students with support and mentorship for their science projects.

Leadership in Career and Technical Education

  • Christine Nguyen
  • Sarah Heinz House

As the Robotics instructor at Sarah Heinz House since 2007, Christine Nguyen has exposed thousands of local young people to STEM-related activities, skills, and possibilities. Ms. Nguyen has created and launched camps, programs, and classes to engage youth ranging in age from pre-school through high school in exploring robotics.

Leadership in Career and Technical Education honorable mention: Daniel Wagner, of Greene County Career and Technology Center University/Post-Secondary Educator

  • Chandralekha Singh
  • University of Pittsburgh

A professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh, Chandralekha Singh pioneered research-based efforts to improve teaching and learning in advanced physics courses to help students understand high-level concepts. Dr. Singh is improving diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) through involvement with the university’s Investing Now college preparatory program.

University/Post-Secondary Educator honorable mention: Dr. Peyman Givi, of the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Conrad Zapanta, of Carnegie Mellon University University/Post-Secondary Student

  • Genoa Warner
  • Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University doctoral student Genoa Warner is making great strides in promoting environmental sustainability. Ms. Warner published research on green chemistry and environmental remediation. She is an advocate for Community Supported Agriculture and teaching kids how to minimize human impacts on the environment.

University/Post-Secondary Student honorable mention: Alexandra To and Neil Carlton, both of Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Science Awards also recognize leaders in technology, innovation, and other scientific endeavors. In the coming weeks, Carnegie Science Center will announce the 2017 Chairman’s Award winner. The Chairman’s Award is the highest honor conferred at the event and provides recognition for unparalleled impact in transforming the Pittsburgh region. Carnegie Science Center established the Carnegie Science Awards program in 1997 to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in western Pennsylvania. Since then, Carnegie Science Awards have honored the accomplishments of more than 500 individuals and organizations that have improved lives through their commitment and contributions in science and technology. Eaton has supported Carnegie Science Awards for more than a decade as presenting sponsor. Chevron is the Awards’ prime sponsor. For more information, visit <> .                   

  About Carnegie Science Center

Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.

 About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Established in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. In 2016, the museums reached more than 1.4 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.