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Press Release 08-074

Top Science and Math Teachers Receive Presidential Award

Ninety-nine secondary school teachers come to Washington to be honored

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Photo of teacher Diane Schnellhammer working with students on a math project.

Diane Schnellhammer is one of 99 teachers recognized in the 2007 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Here, she works with AP Calculus students on building mathematical models. Her students--at the Department of Defense school at Ramstein Air Base in Germany--are modeling two versions of the same equation, examining what happens when they change the axis of rotation.

Credit: Diane Schnellhammer


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Photo of teacher William Leacock staging a physics experiment.

Physics teacher William Leacock stages a dramatic demonstration of inertia and distribution of force by lying on a bed of nails while a student smashes a brick with a sledgehammer over Leacock's abdomen. Because of a Belgian block sitting below the brick, there is inertia that resists motion and keeps the student from hurting his teacher. Meanwhile, because Leacock is lying on 1500 nails, there is not that much force on any one nail, so his back is also unhurt.

Credit: William Leacock


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Photo of teacher Darcy Hampton leading her 8th-grade physical science class in a discussion.

Darcy Hampton leads her 8th-grade physical science class in a discussion about the laws of conservation and mass, and evidence of chemical changes. Hampton teaches at Washington, D.C.'s Alice Deal Middle School.

Credit: Darcy Hampton


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Photo of teacher Judson Wagner working on bridge designs with his physics students.

Judson Wagner works with his physics students on their preliminary designs for bridges, a project in which students eventually create 3D models. Wagner teaches at Concord High School in Wilmington, Del.

Credit: Judson Wagner


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Photo of science teacher Jeanine Gelhaus discussing nanostructures with a student.

Eighth-grade science teacher Jeanine Gelhaus discusses nanostructures with a student using a carbon buckyball. This structure has the potential to be used in medical treatments in the future by offering a drug delivery system. Medicine could be placed in the buckyball and transferred to a site in the body that has a tumor or disease.

Credit: Jeanine Gelhaus


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Photo of group of people on steps

Vice President Dick Cheney stands with recipients of the 2007 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, Wednesday, April 30, 2008, on the Navy Steps of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Credit: White House photo by David Bohrer


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