(Photo via PhysTEC)
PHOENIX– A Goodyear educator was named the top teacher of the year by the Physics Teacher Education Coalition.
David Wirth of Millennium High School was selected due to his methods and dedication as a teacher over his past 29 years as an educator. He was nominated by Arizona State University, where he graduated from the PhysTEC member institution.
Whether he blends inquiry and phenomena teaching or running extracurricular activities, Wirth has inspired curiosity in physics amongst his students, according to the PhysTEC website.
By instructing students through modeling and blending physics and math courses, Wirth has created high demand for his course at Millennium.
He has been awarded more than $50,000 in grants for classroom equipment. He began a Science Olympiad club to increase STEM opportunities at Millennium and he encourages his students to compete in contests such as the Physics Bowl.
Wirth additionally mentors his colleagues and is developing a new STEM curriculum for a middle school.
While balancing his job at Millennium, Wirth teaches classes at Estrella Mountain Community College.
His dedication to his students and colleagues whether in the classroom or not has inspired many students to pursue careers or higher education involving science.
The national winner receives a certificate of achievement, a spotlight on the PhysTEC website and a $1,000 classroom materials grant.
Each year the winner is also given an opportunity to speak at an upcoming American Association of Physics Teachers meeting as well as the next PhysTEC conference. The PhysTEC conference also gives special recognition to the national winner.
Nominees must be named by the PhysTEC institution that they graduated from as well as a current high school science teacher that exhibits a positive effect on their students’ learning and pursuit of physics.