Four Iowa educators have been named state finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching, and a Central Academy physics teacher is among them.

Bradley Jacobson has been a high school science teacher for 15 years. He’s in his 4th year at CA.

“The single biggest impact on my views of science/STEM teaching and learning comes from my personal experience in my high school physics class,” said Jacobson. “My high school physics teacher made science fun, engaging, and challenging. He showed us that you can learn physics through the eyes of a scientist…We learned physics by being scientists.”

Jacobson also learned how to be an exceptional teacher.

“During high school, students are discovering who they are and what drives them,” he said. “That may or may not be science, but their excitement and enthusiasm is infectious…and reignites my own enthusiasm for learning.”

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching are the nation’s highest honors for K-12 educators in those fields. As a state finalist, Jacobson becomes eligible to receive a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

At the national level, an NSF selection committee composed of prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science education researchers, district level personnel, and classroom teachers reviews state finalists’ applications and recommends up to two finalists from each state or jurisdiction. Over the years, 11 DMPS educators have gone on to receive the national award.

Read more about Bradley Jacobson and Iowa’s other finalists on the Iowa Department of Education web site.

Good luck, Mr. Jacobson – and congratulations!

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