Since 1999, the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum has recognized individuals for excellence in earth science education with the Charles A. Salotti Earth Science Education Award. Now the mineral museum has a new partner in selecting the awardee: the Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association (MESTA).
Thanks to the efforts of museum director Ted Bornhorst and Tiger Salotti, wife of the late Charles Salotti, MESTA has agreed to promote the Salotti Award, solicit nominations and select the awardee.
The award will now be focused on recognizing excellence in informal earth science education and/or mentoring. Informal approaches to earth science education include exposing students to experiences outside the classroom setting through field trips, field-based explorations/projects, the creation of exhibitions, museum-based exploration/projects, weekend workshops and extramural clubs. The mentoring aspect of the award focuses on the positive impact that mentors have both on students, such as helping them to think about careers in earth science, and on other educators, such as professional development.
“I am delighted that MESTA has agreed to partner with the museum to advance informal earth science education,” said John Jaszczak, museum adjunct curator and professor of physics, who has played a key role in the Salotti Award since its inception. “My own path to becoming a scientist started with informal mentoring in the mineral collecting hobby.”
Support for the Salotti Award is provided by the Edith Dunn and E. Wm. Heinrich Mineralogical Research Trust, the mineral museum and the family of the late Charles A. Salotti. Both Tiger, trustee, and the late Charles Salotti have been strong supporters of the mineral museum.
For more information about MESTA and the award, visit the MESTA Awards and Grants website.