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Crews receives award for contributions made

Crews receives award for contributions made

Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 8:57 am

The Press 12/21

Dr. Lionel Crews, University of Tennessee at Martin associate professor of physics, recently received the Ptero Award from the Tennessee Earth Science Teachers for his contributions to the teaching of earth science in Tennessee.

The award was presented at the area National Science Teachers Association meeting, in the Tennessee Science Teachers Association awards luncheon at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Dr. Michael Gibson, UT Martin professor of geology, 2001 Ptero Award recipient and TEST higher education adviser, made the presentation.

“It truly is an honor for me to receive this award. I can’t say enough about how much I have enjoyed working with teachers across the state to improve earth science education,” said Crews.

Crews has been active in the teaching of earth science over the past decade.  He has been involved in two grant programs, Revitalizing Earth Science Education in Tennessee and the Institute for Middle Grade Educators in Science, and has made numerous presentations at National Science Teachers Association and Tennessee Science Teachers Association conferences.  He also makes regular school visits to do presentations on astronomy in the classroom, as well as help the local teachers host a “star party” for observing the night sky.  He recently completed an astronomical observatory at UT Martin and plans to allow teachers to use it for experiential learning as well as student research projects.

“Dr. Crews has been an invaluable asset to earth science education in Tennessee. Until his involvement with TEST, teacher development opportunities related to astronomy were few and far between in Tennessee. Now astronomy is becoming more widespread and better taught. Dr. Crews has become one of the teachers’ favorites for development opportunities,” said Gibson.

Ptero is the nickname for the official state fossil of Tennessee, Pterotrigonia (Scabrotrigonia) Thoracica, designated by act of legislature in 1997. This fossil represents the vast geologic and paleontological riches across Tennessee and commemorates their utility as an educational resource. Recipients receive an authentic fossil Ptero mounted on a plaque.

The UT Martin Geo-Club received the award in 1999.

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