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NC State’s Beichner Receives National, Statewide Teaching Awards

It’s been a busy month for Dr. Robert Beichner, professor of physics and director of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Initiative at North Carolina State University.

Cementing his reputation as an innovative instructor, Beichner on Thursday was named North Carolina Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

That award comes on the heels of a national honor announced last month, as Beichner received the Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award from the Society for College Science Teachers, an affiliate of the National Science Teachers Association.

Beichner’s contributions to science education, from co-authoring a leading physics textbook to literally changing how students are educated in the classroom through his SCALE-UP project, are the reasons for all the accolades. SCALE-UP borrows methodology and teaching efforts proven to be successful in small class settings – such as hands-on activities, simulations and roundtable discussions – and adapts them for use in larger classrooms. It represents a  radical departure from ordinary science lecture classes.

“Bob has devoted his career to improving the way we teach – and students learn – science at the university level,” said Dr. Daniel Solomon, dean of NC State’s College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. “His very presence has allowed us to attract other STEM education experts to NC State, creating a community of faculty whose research will put the university at the forefront in this area and further improve postsecondary STEM education for generations to come.”

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