Science Education Awards

2016 Award Winners Sarah McCamish, Colin Lang, Devon Lee, Sarah Thompson, John Cordier, Layne Steinhelper, and Lynette Embrey
2016 Award Winners Sarah McCamish, Colin Lang, Devon Lee, Sarah Thompson, John Cordier, Layne Steinhelper, and Lynette Embrey

Amanda Bezner, Sara McCamish, MD, Valerie Guenther, Lynette Embrey, and Tracy Williams
Amanda Bezner, Sara McCamish, MD, Valerie Guenther, Lynette Embrey, and Tracy Williams


For the past 21 years, the Texas Biomedical Forum and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation have joined forces for the Science Education Awards. Local public and private high school teachers are invited to participate. The awards are given to the top six teachers whose proposals demonstrate the strongest commitment to the scientific process and the further development of progressive science education programs. The competition was incredibly intense this year as the number and caliber of applications increased dramatically.

Selection Process

The winners are determined by a panel of judges including Science Education Awards founder, Valerie Guenther representing the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation; Dr. Sara McCamish and Lynnette Embrey, representing the Forum and serving as Science Education Awards Coordinators. The panel was rounded out by Texas Biomed scientists Dr. Jera Pecotte and Dr. Michael Owston. As always, we wish to thank Valerie Guenther of the V.H. McNutt Foundation, for her time and continued support of this program.

Annually, over $20,000 is awarded jointly by the Texas Biomedical Forum and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation. Additionally, due to a generous donation by the L.D. Ormsby Foundation the first ten teachers to submit proposals received a $50 personal stipend. A $200 participatory grant was also provided to schools who did not receive a placed award. (Participant grants were given to: Alamo Heights, Bryon P. Steele II High School, Harlandale High School, KIPP University Prep, Sandra Day O’Connor and Warren High School.)

Application Process

  • September: Announcement cards sent to districts and high school science coordinators announcing both Texas Biomedical Forum Student Tours and Science Education Awards details and criteria with referral to the website for specific criteria, instructions, and application forms.
  • November: Applications mailed to area high schools.
  • February: Applications must be faxed or postmarked on or before February TBD, 2017.Late applications will not be considered. The panel meets to review the applications and select the winners.
  • March: Winners will be announced at the Forum Lecture Luncheon in March 2017.

Award Criteria and Instructions

The awards are given, on a competitive basis, to Bexar County and surrounding area high schools demonstrating the strongest commitment to further the development of innovative and progressive science education programs. The aim is to assist in the purchase of teaching materials for science programs. Both public and private high schools are eligible. Each school is permitted to enter two proposals. Preference will be given to hands-on science projects. Requests for computer hardware or software, video or other technical equipment are discouraged unless used as a interactive, scientific tool.

Awards are at the sole discretion of the committee. No more than two applications from the same school will be accepted. Previous winners may apply, provided that they submit an accountability report of their past project by October of the following year.

Winners are determined by a panel of judges consisting of a representative of the V. H. McNutt Memorial Foundation, Texas Biomed scientists and members of the Texas Biomedical Forum. A total of $20,000 will be awarded: $7,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place, $3,500 for third place, $2,500 for fourth place, $1,500 for fifth place, and $500 for honorable mention. If there are not enough qualified applications, not all awards need be made. Previous award winners are eligible to apply again. In addition, thanks to the L.D. Ormsby Charitable Foundation, the first ten teachers who submit proposals will receive a $50.00 stipend for their own educational purposes. The first ten applicants, whose qualified projects do not place in the top six, will receive a $200.00 award for their school’s science program. Please feel free to contact Texas Biomedical Forum at with any questions.

Complete the downloadable Application below, including Cover Sheet, Research Description,and Project Budget. Please submit proof of estimated budget expenses. Use the spaces provided for responses.

  • Ensure that both the sponsoring Science Teacher and Principal have signed the proposal.
  • Send your completed proposal to the address below so that it is postmarked or faxed nolater than February TBD, 2017. Late submissions will not be considered.
  • You will be contacted in early March regarding the status of your application.
  • Award recipients will be recognized at a luncheon in March at The Argyle.

Please mail or email completed application to:

Texas Biomedical Forum
P.O. Box 6648
San Antonio, Texas 78209

Download the Application

Science Education Award Application (Downloadable PDF file).

Click for Sample Application

2016 Science Education Award Winners

Congratulations to these science teachers who are inspiring the scientists of tomorrow!

Placement/Award/School Project Title Teacher
1st – $7,000
Keystone School
On Shaky Ground Layne Steinhelper
2nd – $5,000
KIPP University Prep
Sugar, Fats, Proteins: What’s really in the foods we eat? John Cordier
3rd – $3,500
Earl Warren High School
Flipping the Switch: Hands on Electricity Sarah Thompson
4th – $2,000
St. Mary’s Hall
Investigation of Jellyfish Blooms and Life History Strategies of Aurella aurita Devon Lee
5th – $1,500
Alamo Heights High School
Goddard Level Rocket NASA Mission Payload Year II Colin Lang