CSTA Awards Programs

CSTA Awards Program Statement of Philosophy

CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future.

NOTE: Members of the CSTA Board of Directors may not be considered for any award while they serve on the board.

CSTA is now accepting nominations for the following CSTA Awards
Nomination Deadline: May 9, 2017. Nominations for the CSTA awards nominations for the CSTA awards are accepted January through May.
For information on the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, see www.paemst.org.

Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award

The Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to science education in the state and who, through years of leadership and service, has truly made a positive impact on the quality of science teaching.
Award Description
The Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award shall require:
Both nominee and nominator must be current CSTA members.
A completed Nomination Form which includes
  • Name of nominee
  • School or institution address of nominee
  • School or office telephone number of nominee
  • Home address of nominee
  • Home telephone number of nominee
  • Name, address, and phone number of nominating CSTA member
  • A listing of past Margaret Nicholson award winners
A Letter of Support from each nominator, submitted with the Nomination Form for the nominee. The Letter of Support shall include the following elements:
  • Specific examples of service to science education
  • Specific examples of leadership in science
  • Specific examples of commitment to excellence in science education
  • Specific examples of professional involvement in science
  • Longevity of contributions and participation in science education and CSTA
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CSTA Future Science Teacher Award

The CSTA Future Science Teacher Award recognizes college students who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to science education through volunteer, teaching, and professional organization activities and who show promise to become outstanding science educators. No more than two Future Science Teacher Awards will be awarded in any year.
Award Description

The CSTA Future Science Teacher Recognition Awards shall require:
The nominator to be a current CSTA member.
The nominee must be a student enrolled in a teacher education program.
A completed Nomination Form which includes the following information:

  • Name of nominee
  • School or institution nominee is attending
  • School or office telephone number of nominee
  • Home address of nominee
  • Home telephone number of nominee
  • Name, address, and phone number of nominating CSTA member
A letter of endorsement from the nominee addressing the following elements:
  • Description of his/her commitment to science education
  • Volunteer and/or teaching activities within a school setting
  • Volunteer activity in a museum, nature center, or related organization
  • Her/his long-term career goals
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CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award

The CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award honors an organization, institution or foundation which has made a sustained, significant impact to science education in the state and which, through years of leadership and service, has truly made a positive impact on the quality of science teaching and learning. No more than two CSTA Distinguished Contributions Awards will be given in any year.
Award Description

The CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award honors an organization, institution or foundation which has made a sustained, significant impact to science education in the state and which, through years of leadership and service, has truly made a positive impact on the quality of science teaching and learning. No more than two CSTA Distinguished Contributions Awards will be given in any year. Click to view past recipients.
The CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award shall require:
The nominator to be a current CSTA member.
A completed Nomination Form which includes

  • Name of nominee
  • School, institution, or foundation address of nominee
  • Telephone number of nominee
  • Address of nominee
  • Name, address, and phone number of nominating CSTA member
  • A listing of past CSTA Distinguished Contribution award winners

A Letter of Support from each nominator, submitted with the Nomination Form for the nominee.
The Letter(s) of Support shall include the following elements:

  • Specific examples of service to science education
  • Specific examples of commitment to excellence in science education
  • Specific examples of professional involvement in science education
  • Evidence that contributions to science education have been sustained
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Christine Bertrand Advocacy Award

Christine Bertrand Advocacy Award is named for CSTA's former executive director Christine Bertrand. Christine served as CSTA's executive director 1996-2011. Under her leadership CSTA achieved many advocacy victories for science education. In 2015, the CSTA Board of Directors established the Christine Bertrand Advocacy Award to honor her service to science education. The award honors individual(s) who demonstrate a commitment to quality science education in California, going beyond expected levels of involvement. The award recognizes outstanding advocacy and championing of quality science education. Nominated and bestowed by the Board of Directors, no more than two awards will be given per year.
  • 2015 Recipient: Trish Williams.


Legislator of the Year Award

Legislator of the Year Award is an award bestowed by the CSTA Board of Directors to recognize legislators who have been supportive of high quality science education in California. Past recipients include:
  • 2013: Senator Loni Hancock
  • 2015: Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla

Honorary Memberships

Honorary Memberships were established by the board of directors to recognize those individuals who may not be science educators and through their work and efforts contribute to the body of science knowledge and serve to ignite interest in science. Honorary membership is a life time membership and carries with it all the rights of membership except voting rights. Honorary Members:
  • Jamie Hyneman
  • Adam Savage
  • Ilene Straus
  • Trish Williams.