New Teaching Award Recipient
BY STACEY ANDREWS
Public Affairs Officer
APEGGA has long made it a mandate to encourage and inform the students
of Alberta about its professions. With in-class Outreach programs, active
involvement in career-choice initiatives, and comprehensive scholarship
support, the Association nurtures a strong and dynamic interest in the
sciences and science careers.
It is fitting, then, that the APEGGA also looks to the teachers of tomorrow's
engineers and geoscientists with appreciation for their daily commitment
to the quality of our children's education and the continuity of the professions.
In this spirit, the Association was proud to award the APEGGA Excellence
in Teaching Mathematics/Science Award to Stephen Gibbings at the 13th
annual Excellence in Teaching Awards Gala, held May 5 at Calgary's Hyatt-Regency
This award recognizes teachers who demonstrate exceptional ability to
inspire students and excite their interests in math or the sciences. When
one scans Mr. Gibbings' profile as a Chemistry 20 and 30 teacher at Cardston
High School, it is not difficult to see why he was chosen as this year's
recipient. Parents of his students refer to him as a natural teacher,
and certainly his passion and ingenuity in finding ways to engage his
students supports this description.
Mr. Gibbings seems to have discovered the key to communication with young
adults while holding their attention and respect. He takes a fun and culturally
savvy approach to the sometimes intimidating subject of chemistry, interspersing
the hard facts of the discipline with multi-media presentations and even
music. Anything likely to grab attention is fair game: Star Trek and X-Files
posters, marshmallow molecular models, profiles on the heroes of chemistry
and in-class team competitions -- they all work for Mr. Gibbings.
He has designed a computer Chemistry Jeopardy game to quiz his class on
chemical principles. He has even gone so far as to write songs, accompanying
himself on guitar, to help students remember information.
The fun he has in class is balanced by the care and effort he puts into
the education process. Mr. Gibbings conducts regular study sessions after
classes and in the evenings to help those who require it. He is committed
to his own continuing education, taking courses to ensure that his knowledge
Well-respected by his peers at Cardston High School, Mr. Gibbings is the
chemistry spokesperson for his school division. He also helps to staff
and supervise student events, and even coaches volleyball.
Under the tutelage of such a dynamic teacher, it is little wonder that
students graduate from his class well-prepared and motivated to take further
study at university levels. His nominators report that he is "the
type of teacher who inspires students not only to love the subject, but
to do better than they ever thought they could in chemistry." No
This is the first year that APEGGA, a member of the Excellence in Teaching
Foundation, has presented at the Excellence in Teaching Awards ceremonies.
Mr. Gibbings is the inaugural recipient of the APEGGA Excellence in Teaching
Mathematics/ Science Award, and he sets an auspicious standard for those
He will no doubt continue to inspire young scientists and represent the
quality of Alberta's teachers for years to come.