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Source: National Science Teachers Association news release

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning, has announced the recipients of its 2014 Teacher Awards.

According to NSTA President Bill Badders, the purpose of the Teacher Awards program is to recognize extraordinary K-12 teachers, professors, principals, and science educators for their outstanding achievements in science education.

"We're proud to honor these amazing teachers and science education professionals who are not only making a significant mark on the profession, but also inspiring the next generation of informed citizens, scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and innovators," he commented. "Through their passion, patience, and dedication, and by instilling a sense of wonder about science, they are helping to build a more promising future for all students."

Angie Midthun-Hensen, a science teacher at Verona Area High School in Verona, Wis. was awarded the DuPont Pioneer Excellence in Agricultural Science Education Award.

This award, which is sponsored by DuPont Pioneer, honors science teachers who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of agricultural science education. Midthun-Hensen received the award last month at a special banquet and ceremony at NSTA's 62nd National Conference on Science Education in Boston, Massachusetts.

At Verona Area High School in Verona, Wisconsin, Angie Midthun-Hensen strives to encourage her students to develop-and pursue-a passion for agriculture and science. Her undergraduate experience as a research assistant both in labs and field plots helped her establish a biotechnology curriculum at the school.

Midthun-Hensen uses her Plant Tissue Culture and Sterile Technique lab to help students not only understand agricultural concepts including biotechnology, but also to demonstrate the real-world application of many skills and techniques they learn.

Despite lacking a tissue culture hood to ensure a sterile environment for students' cultures, she has provided "students a rare chance to learn and experience methods and techniques currently in use in academia and the ag biotech industry," according to one of her former college professors.

"Science literacy is critical to the success of future generations," said Paul Schickler, president of DuPont Pioneer. "Angie's dedication to engaging her students in agriculture and biotechnology will better prepare them to compete in a global workforce and help ensure we have the next generation of leaders who will feed the world."

Midthun-Hensen received a freestanding award, $5000 grant for her agricultural science program, paid expenses to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education, mentoring with a DuPont Pioneer scientist, classroom resources from DuPont Pioneer, and access to a DuPont Pioneer product plant or research facility.

"We congratulate Ms. Midthun-Hensen for her lifelong commitment to science education and for her innovative and creative approach to teaching our students science," said Badders.

NSTA encourages science educators to apply for its 2015 Teacher Awards. Applications and information can be found online at

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