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Prestigious RSC Award won by Bolton teacher

Royal Society of Chemistry's Schools Education Award presented to Dr. Kristy Turner, teacher at Bolton School Boy's Division

Posted by Charley Rogers | May 25, 2017 | People, policy, politics

Dr. Turner is a teacher, academic and chemistry education researcher working primarily on improving the transition between school and university for chemistry students. In her research work she designs and evaluates creative ways of improving students’ understanding of chemical phenomena. She also researches how assessments in chemistry have changed over time using an archive of historical exam materials.

She said: “I am incredibly honoured to receive this award which highlights the value of the classroom teacher for chemistry students. The day-to-day experience of chemistry students at all levels, linked of course to their teachers, is a huge factor in maintaining the pipeline of talent into the chemical sciences.”

The Schools Education Award is awarded to a teacher or team who has demonstrated an exceptional ability to teach chemistry and inspire students at any pre-university level, either over a prolonged period of time or by making a large impact in a short period of time. Dr. Turner receives £2000, a medal and a certificate, and £1000 for her school science department.

Dr. Turner has been teaching chemistry in state and independent secondary schools in the North West of England for 11 years and has most recently combined this with teaching at the University of Manchester. She is an inspirational chemistry teacher and mentor and a unique bridge between the communities in secondary and higher education.

We know that chemistry can be a powerful force for good, and quality research and communication of that research are more important than ever before.

She is incredibly active in the chemistry education community, through the Royal Society of Chemistry and beyond. Her first involvement in wider collaboration was when she was a trainee teacher in 2006 with the Chemistry for Our Future initiative. Since then she has been a Royal Society of Chemistry school teacher fellow, a regular contributor and now member of the editorial board of Education in Chemistry, a subject specialist mentor for the Royal Society of Chemistry scholarship initial teacher training programme, a member of the Curriculum and Assessment Working Group and the author of the hugely popular Royal Society of Chemistry resource ‘Starters for Ten’. 

Kristy recognises the value of networks in keeping teachers happy and engaged, and loves getting teachers together for informal Teachmeet CPD events, sharing best practice and camaraderie over pizza. Her work has brought new audiences to engage with dialogue on the issues surrounding chemistry and science education, including trainee teachers and experienced (and perhaps battle worn) old hands.  

Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said: “It is an honour to celebrate the innovation and expertise of our community through our prizes and awards.

“We know that chemistry can be a powerful force for good, and quality research and communication of that research are more important than ever before.

“Our charitable mission is to advance excellence in the chemical sciences, and we are proud to celebrate our inspiring and influential winners, who share that mission.”

Award winners are evaluated for the originality and impact of their research, as well as the quality of the results, which can be shown in publications, patents, or even software. The awards also recognise the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, and the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

An illustrious list of 50 previous winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s awards have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including all of the 2016 chemistry winners, Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart, and Ben Feringa.

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