Diane Riendeau, winner of the 2008 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Leadership in Science Education Prize for High School Teachers, paid a visit to Argonne National Laboratory on October 1, 2008. Riendeau, who teaches physics at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Illinois, was the guest of Murray Gibson, Director of Argonne Scientific User Facilities; and Harold Myron, Director of the Argonne Division of Educational Programs.
On arriving at Argonne, Riendeau met with Myron to discuss potential science education collaborations with the Laboratory. Next, Gibson gave Riendeau a tour of the Argonne Advanced Photon Source, the U.S. Department of Energy’s premier high-brightness x-ray research facility, followed by a lunch at the Argonne Guest House, and then a tour of the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System.
According to the AAAS, Riendeau’s "Make It, Take It, Teach It" program “gives students a chance to observe basic physics concepts as they build a simple object like a kaleidoscope and use their creation to teach their parents about reflection, for example. The combination of hands-on learning and teaching by the students—along with positive feedback from their families—has raised physics comprehension and interest, according to data collected on the program.” The number of physics survey classes at Deerfield High School has doubled under Riendeau’s stewardship.
The Leadership in Science Education Prize of $1000, supported by AAAS member Dr. Edith Neimark, recognizes one high-school teacher who has “contributed significantly to the AAAS goal of advancing science education by developing an innovative and demonstrably effective classroom strategy, activity, or program.” The prize also includes a teaching visit to the Shanghai International Forum on Science Literacy of Precollege Students. Riendeau, a 20-year teaching veteran and active member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, has already conducted a teachers’ training workshop in Africa, and in Puerto Rico as part of the first Materials World Modules Workshop at the University of Puerto Rico.
An article on "Make It, Take It, Teach It" that appeared in the March 2007 issue of Physics Education can be found here.