A History NJSTA 1905-2005 from the 100th Anniversary Booklet
There is a proverb by Lao-tsze, “ The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” For NJSTA that step began in the Newark Public Library one day in January 1905. At an intermission of a meeting of the then existing New Jersey High School Teachers association, A. T. Seymour from Orange High School and Gilbert K. Trafton of Passaic called for a meeting of interested science teachers. Before the day was out, Seymour was elected chairman pro-tem and later became the first president (1905-1907) of the fledgling organization. Trafton, who authored Science for Home and Community, was elected the first secretary.
An organizational meeting of 18 teachers in April, 1905 (again at Newark Public Library) began the process of creating and association – drafting a constitution, framing tin the mechanics and hierarchies of such a body and enlisting the support of the profession. The members’ efforts culminated in two association conferences in 1907. The first, held at Rutgers College, New Brunswick, on January 26th, adopted the constitution and ran a full program, including papers by Rutgers professors, F.C. Van Dyck and J. Smith. Members of the second meeting that year held at Princeton University, were welcomed then by Princeton President, Woodrow Wilson.
By 1915 high school teachers from several other disciplines had followed the lead of the NJSTA to form their parochial associations. On December 11, 1915, by Dr. A.B. Meredith, as Assistant Superintendent of Education in New Jersey, attended an association meeting in Elizabeth urging joint meetings of all the various associations of Secondary School Teachers. H. Morgan Campbell, as president (1915-1917) of the Association worked enthusiastically and tirelessly for the concept and on November 23, 1918, with Merton C. Leonard as president (1919-1920), the first High School Conference was held at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
After World War I, teacher associations grew in numbers, strength, and sophistication. The State Teachers Association, concerned about the diffusion of self-seeking thrusts of the various disciplines, expressed a conviction that a single voice representing the umbrella of interest would be more efficient and productive for all. In the winter of 1923, the presidents of the High School Associations were invited to Newark to one of the State Teachers Association executive committee meetings. Hammered out at the session was the plant o change the Rutgers Conference to a spring meeting and to have the High School Teachers Association meet in the fall, with the NJSTA presenting programs at each conference. The first such combined meeting was held in the fall of 1926.
Optimism, Synoptic concepts and galvanizing causes characterized the first years of the Association. Those Qualities were expressed in three themes – professional fellowship, mutual help, and service.
Professionally, the enthusiasm of teachers and teachers of teachers was a mutually exhilarating experience regenerated yearly at meetings held at Stevens Institute, Rutgers College, or Princeton. Philosophic discussions shared programs with more real problems, such as text and workbook usage, methods and materials. These seven cardinal principles for secondary education as promulgated by NEA provided the inspiration - - the goad - to seek professional help through extensions courses and creative conferences and meetings featuring “How To” sessions and master seminars. Field trips – nature hikes, geology digs, and industrial tours – were, and are refracted through the personalities of teachers suddenly made aware of the freshly seen unexpected richness of an environment.
Samples of service within our group included the preparation of a list of demonstrations and laboratory exercised under the leadership of Frederick H. Beals of Barringer High School. The Association also prepared A Ten Week Course In Mechanics For Small High Schools for its members. After services rendered in cooperation with the State Department included the contribution of the Association to Suggestions for a Health Program for the Junior and Senior High School Grades, and The State Science Course Of Study.
The work toward suggestions for a health program for New Jersey schools was done in 1922 and 1923. The Association contributed sections for Syllabi of Health Instruction in Secondary School Science. Henry R. Hubbard was chairman of the committee that prepared the syllabus for biology, Merton C. Leonard, general science; Charles E. Dull , chemistry, and R. B. Saylor, physics.
The most important service rendered in cooperation with the state department was the preparation of the State Science Syllabus. This work was done under the leadership of Pauline McDowell and W. J. Dumm, with cooperation of Dr. Lambert S. Jackson of the State Department during the years of 1924-1926. The plan was presented to the Association at a dinner in Elizabeth on February 13, 1925. Later, during the same year, Mr. Dumm, who at that time was president of the Association, called a meeting of the executive committee and a group of especially interested science teachers to a meeting at the YWCA in Newark. The State science syllabus was prepared by committees with the following chairpersons: general science Emma L. Kemp, Biology, Henry R. Hubbard; chemistry Pauline McDowell; physics, William Platzer. It was published in 1927.
During 1937 reports were made by two committees of the Association which had worked in cooperation with the State Department of Public Instruction in surveying the public schools as to science instruction. Merwin Peake headed the committee which investigated 7th, 8th and 9th grade conditions, and Pauline McDowell Atkins headed the committee for the 10th, 11th and 12th grades.
In 1949, in connection with its meeting with the New Jersey Education Association in Atlantic City, The New Jersey Science Teachers Association initiated a Scroll to honor New Jersey residents outside the organization that year who had contributed most to science or to science teaching during the year. That year the award was bestowed upon Dr. Selman A. Waksman, Rutgers University professor and Nobel Prize winner.
Perhaps, the NJSTA 1940’s and ‘50’s might be best summed up as pragmatic and progressive. Attendance increased – more teachers became involved - with the elementary school causes and issues leading the way. Programs at meetings reflected a rather orderly progression from lectures to hands-on workshops in both the academic and outdoor areas.
About 1950, a basically autonomous Industrial Liaison Committee was established. Its formation was an effort to have industry - and especially those companies involved with science – to become actively involved in upgrading the teaching of science in New Jersey. Industry responded generously, providing speakers, giving demonstrations, conducting visits of their facilities and supplying printed materials. Many companies sponsored all or part of many Association meetings, giving financial assistance and offering meeting site, besides being physically present and lending moral support. In 1958, the Association recognition of organizations supportive of such principles was formalized with the creation of the Atkins Award.
In addition, nearly every college, university, museum, and many foundations in the state contributed to the goal of upgrading science education during this time. The State Department of Education became actively engaged in parts of the NJSTSA program, in large part through the efforts of Dr. Richard. B. Sheetz. In the spring of 1951, the Association cooperated with Rutgers University in planning the first annual State Science Day, thus making scholarships and other awards available to outstanding science students in the secondary schools of the state.
Indicative of such broad-based support of NJSTA by industry is reflected in a sampling of speakers who addressed members during this era: Dr. Vincent Schafer from General Electric Research Laboratories; Drs. Hubert Alyea and Eric Rogers from Princeton University; Dr. Earl C. Tanner of the Matterhorn Project in Princeton; Dr. Margaret Mead, renowned anthropologist; Dr. John T. Baxter from the University of Florida; Dr. Harvey Russell from American Cyanamid; Dr. Frank D. Leamer of Bell Laboratories; Dr. Elmer C. Easton fromRutgers University; and Dr. John Connor, President of Merck and Co., to name a few.
In the fall of 1950 the association published its first journal, The New Jersey Science Teacher, under the editorship of then president, Dr. Abraham M. Weckstein, who wrote, “Undoubtedly, our greatest contribution as an association lies in our potentiality as an agency for the in-service training of science teachers.”
In 1952 the name of the publication was changed to the Bulletin, a policy of no advertising initiated and the journal was spartanly mimeographed. In 1954, the title was changed to the New Jersey Science Teachers Association Bulletin and continuing through the spring issue in 1958 was professionally printed with occasional photographs. In the March, 1958 issue, referring to a February 1958 editorial, there appeared a letter signed by Sherman Adams for then president Eisenhower expressing “concern“ in mutually finding ways of insuring more opportunities for the superior science student. In September 1958 became the Bulletin of the New Jersey Science Teachers Association.
During this decade the dues structure was held at $2 until 1958, when the inched up to $3. In 1960 membership became $5.
The first State Science Day, sponsored by Rutgers University at New Brunswick and assisted with help from NJSTA, was held on April 28, 1951. In 1958-59, the Catholic Round Table of Science and the Science and Mathematics Society of North Jersey affiliated with NJSTA. The Association hosted the National Science Teachers Convention March 31 - April 4, 1959 in Atlantic City.
Spearheaded by Mary E.Lutz, Lester S. Hollinger and Alton W. Schmidt, the Association was instrumental in initiating, emphasizing the need for and aiding in gathering such materials as were included in the Bibliography of Instructional Materials for Mathematics and Science Teaching Available from Business and Industry. The compilation was published in 1949 by the Cooperative School Industry Science Program and distributed by the Department of Education of New Jersey. The Association was honored in Washington, DC November 6, 1959 when the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation selected Father Lucien R. Donnelly as a participant in the Mass Media and the Image of Science Conference. In 1961, cooperative efforts, again with the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation, led to the publishing of School-Industry Cooperation for better Science Education in New Jersey.
Such project, activities and services are the historical reminders of dedicated leaders and willing workers not proscribed by decades nor administrations nor eras - but by lifetimes. In such a rota for the middle 1900’s one would find: Pauline McDowell Atkins, William Davidson, Morris Learner, Dr. Rufus Reed, Howard Trombley, Frank Schetty, Dr. Eugune Vivian… and hundreds of classroom teachers who were ready to turn from the confident pragmatism of the 50’s to the more enthusiastic optimism of the 60’s.
For those whose prime peaked here, this decade might be call the “swingin’ sixties”, but almost any and all NJSTA members might remember it just as fondly as the “scientific sixties”. In this ten-year period the organization grew in all phases of operation with established programs flourishing and new programs blossoming. The lingering charisma of Sputnik fashioned a synergistic environment. Dynamic leadership brought with it new ideas; new ideas brought new workers; new workers brought new heights in membership and participation.
The Bulletin was the proud voice of the group, publishing at least three issues per year and providing members with announcements and follow-up reports of both regular and special events.
Furthermore, the increased tempo of NJSTA programs and activities reawakened interest in a more informal service and exhortatory periodical. In 1966 the late Reuben Goodman of Passiac High School reorganized the Bulletin into the Newsletter.
New in the sixties was the formal recognition of service. The first Fellows of NJSTA were recognized in 1960 when eighteen science educators and retirees were elected to this position. Included in the distinguished list of those who have made a meritorious contribution to the Association and science education in New Jersey were such renowned individuals as Dr. Lois Shoemaker of Trenton State; Dr Rufus Reed of Montclair State; Dr. Robert Carleton, Executive Director of NSTA; and several past presidents including J. Gordon Manzer and Mary Lutz.
The first outstanding Biology Teacher Award in New Jersey was given in 1963. Thus with the Citation Scroll, and Atkins Award, the Association had four vectors for recognizing dedication and service to science education in the state and nation.
Science fairs shot across the skies of the sixties, capitalizing upon the energies and the imaginations of students and teachers throughout the state before they were phased out by waning interest of the disenchanted and broad criticism of their value to education. However in that one decade of optimism and enthusiasm NJSTA supported and encouraged much responsible and exciting science, spearheaded by the efforts of Maitland Simmons, past president, of Irvington High School.
Many teachers maintained their “faith” in the sixties through the Christmas Science Workshops at Fairleigh Dickinson University; they felt a special “providence” with the kits from Bell Laboratories; and they had their own special “turf” at the Claridge—at Haddon Hall—on brisk November days in Atlantic City.
Reflecting the outlook and outreach of its members, the sixties ushered in a new kind of involvement of the Association on the state and national levels. Dr. Hugh Allen of Montclair State, our first elected NSTA board member, joined Bob Carleton in planning a stronger national organization. Dick Scheetz, in Trenton, labored for all to improve the low of science and to encourage industry’s continued cooperation. The (in)famous “Chicken Case” typified our dedication and faith in honest science research in the lab.
In the late 1960’s, Outdoor Education captured the minds and imaginations of many of our members. The initial years at Rutgers were an outgrowth of Curriculum Conference inquiry. When the workshops moved outdoors, the weeks at Wapalanne finally were put to use at the K-through-12 levels. But, again, in the last analysis, the 1960’s were like any “good-ole-days”—they were “good” because of the people—the teachers in the back rows (where you and I were); and the teachers up-front…”good” people, like: John Petix, Sr. Francis Eileen, Grace Koerner, Norm Worthington, Len Blessing, Ed Lonsky, Les Hollinger…our leaders, our presidents…It was a time of accomplishment, of expansion—of pride.
In the 1970’s, the Association continued its themes of education, innovation and service to science teachers. Prominent speakers keynoted major conventions. In 1970, for example, in Atlantic City, TV’s “Mr. Wizard,” Don Herbert, was the speaker at the annual luncheon. In 1973, Harry K. Wong, Director of the IIS project was the speaker at the Atlantic City convention and in 1977, Dr. Carl Sagan, of Cornell and NASA, spoke at the Mineralogical Symposium.
In 1977, a major change regarding the conduction of the annual convention was begun. For many years, the convention had been held in conjunction with the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City. However, after more than a year of formal planning, the first N.J. Science Convention under the joint leadership of Roseanne Gillis of the NJSTA and Joseph Krajkovich from the N.J. Science Supervisors Association was held on October 13 and 14, 1977 at the Coachman Inn in Cranford, New Jersey. In this initial enterprise, 68 programs were offered, 60 science vendors displayed their wares and current films were shown to more than 600 science teachers and their friends. The ambitious program was capped by the banquet speaker, Dr. George Wald, Nobel Laureate from Harvard University. In 1978, the attendance was approximately 900 and the main speaker was Dr. Paul Brandwein, from the University of Pittsburgh. By 1979, with Dr. Fletcher Watson, from New York University as the main speaker, the original planning committee’s most sanguine expectations were exceeded when approximately 1000 attended the two-day convention.
During the decade many other major programs were sponsored. One of these, the Elementary Science Workshop, jointly sponsored by NJSTA, the N.J. Department of Education and the Springfield Public Schools, was co-chaired by Margaret Hanwell and Kathryn DeMott. Indicative of the interest and support of the science community, more than 500 persons attended the Workshop.
A position paper was developed as a result of the 1976 Curriculum Conference. The topic was “Science: Can Education Be Thorough And Efficient Without It?”. The association’s intent in preparing the paper was to have it serve as a guide for the establishment of local goals, objectives and policies to insure a thorough and efficient science education for students. It was the purpose of the document to present broad-based, viable recommendations which would be implemented by changes in the laws of the State of New Jersey related to education and in the policies of the State Department of Education. The Association received hundreds of requests for copies of the position paper from throughout the United States and Canada.
On April 14 and 15, 1978, the Curriculum Conference had as its topic, “Safety in School Science Laboratories.” This Conference was planned with the aid of Mary Louise Brown of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in conjunction with NJSTA and the N.J. Science Supervisors Association. Pre-conference arrangements were made to give some 15 persons a full day’s session on safety at the Educational Improvement Center in Hightstown. These fifteen then became the presenters at the Curriculum Conference itself. This Conference on Safety was the first of many such conferences that have since been convened in the state, and, as such, has brought much needed attention to a heretofore solely neglected topic.
In its watch-dog role for science education in the state, the Association had many opportunities to take stands for causes and concerns during the decade. In 1971, President Fred Blumenfeld sent a letter to senators and congressmen opposing the phasing out of science education in the budgetary policies of the National Science Foundation. In 1973, opposition was expressed to the establishment of statewide testing in science education using normative referenced tests. By way of an alternative proposal, the Association endorsed criterion referenced testing (where behavioral objectives in science education as designed and selected by educators in each school district were evaluated to meet the individual needs of the children in the district).
Two special awards were given during the 1970’s. In 1972, one was given to Frank Shetty for conducting the Brigantine Wildlife Field Trips for 11 years during the conventions at Atlantic City. In 1978, at the Annual Spring Meeting, Howard Fuhrmann was given special recognition for serving as treasurer of NJSTA for ten years.
Organizationally, a unique situation developed in the election of officers for the year 1973-1974. Sister Shirley Corbliss obtained the required signatures of 15 members of the Association and presented them two months prior to the date at which the officers assumed offices, thus enabling her to run for the office of President-Elect. She won the election for this office and the following year, by constitutional ascendancy, became President. This was the only time in the history of the Association such a sequence of events occurred.
As has hereto been noted, NJSTA has had the good fortune to have been led by able, dedicated—even, inspired—officers. Some of these individuals were recognized and became active at the national level. In 1971, Leonard Blessing was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Morris Lerner went on to become President of NSTA, and later he was presented the Distinguished Service Citation by the American Association of Physics Teachers at their 1972 annual meeting in San Francisco. In 1975, Fred Blumenfeld also was elected President of NSTA. In 1979, Audrey Brainard was elected District II Director of NSTA.
Not only did NJSTA maintain its hierarchical professional affiliations, but in the 70’s it reached out and began to meet regularly with the officers of the Science Associations of New York and Pennsylvania, with the express purposes of exchanging ideas and information. In addition, the Association continued support of the N.J. Chemistry League, through which, for years, students throughout the state took competitive exams in first and second-year chemistry. In 1979, the concept was expanded to include physics and biology and the title was changed to the N.J. Science League, with Dr. Malcolm Sturchio remaining as the Director.
Cooperation between NJSTA and industry continued to flourish. Industry supported the Association financially as well as through sponsorship of many activities. Frequent visits to laboratories were made by teachers and students and many awards were offered to teachers and to students by industry. A classic example of such current cooperation is the Chemical Industry Council, a group whose main goal is to help bring industry and education closer together through sponsorship of awards to teachers and students.
In the fall of 1979, NJSTA hosted a reception for the Sony Overseas Study Project Team. The team consisted of five outstanding science teachers from Japan. Among the honored guests attending the reception at the home of George and Judy Gross were Governor Brendan Byrne, Mrs. Mureen Ogden, Mayor of Millburn, State Senator James Wallwork and Dr. Leonard Krause, President of NSTA
On May 12, 1980, forty NJSTA members were hosted by Bell Labs in Holmdel. Tours of special areas in the facility was highlighted by a question-and-answer session with Nobel Laureate, Robert Wilson.
In 1980, Rex T. Morrison was our president. During this year, Audrey Brainerd was elected NSTA District II Director, and Deborah Werner, a teacher at Rutherford High School received the Outstanding Biology Teacher of NJ award. NJ Bell Labs in Holmdel hosted the Annual Spring Meeting, where the NJSTA Fellows Award was given to Thomas Fangman and Walter Quint. Fifty-dollar savings bonds were given as awards for the NJSTA Energy Essay Contest, in which competitors wrote about Energy Conservation, Today and Tomorrow. NJSC was held at the Coachman Inn in Cranford, NJ. Special speakers at the convention were Dr. Hubert Alyea, whose topic title was Diamond Reminiscence. Dr. Arno A. Penzia spoke about, Science, Technology, and Survival. On May 12, 1980, forty NJSTA members were highlighted by a question-and-answer session with Nobel Laureate, Robert Wilson.
Our president in 1981 was Thomas Fangman, and the NJSC convention was again held at the Coachman Inn in Cranford, NJ. The annual spring meeting was hosted by Exxon in Linden, NJ, where the Citation Scroll Award was given to John Padalino, and Suzanne Crossley received the Fellows Award. Gertrude Clark, a physics teacher at Chatham HS and Charles Butterfied, the science supervisor at Ramsey HS received the NSTA Distinguished Service Award.
Angelina Romano was our 1982 president, and the NJSC convention speaker was Dr. Niles Eldgredge, Curator of the Department of Invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History. His topic was, A Scientist Looks at Creationism. The spring meeting was hosted by CIBA-Geigy Corp. on June 8. NSTA awards this year were presented to Roseanne Gillis, Citation for Distinguished Service to Education, Dr. George Gross, Gustav Ohaus Award for Innovations in Elementary and Secondary Science Teaching, and from the American Gas Company, Dr. Stephen J. Zipko, Science Teaching Award.
In 1983, George Hague served as president, and the NJSC Convention, held on October 4-5 at the Coachman Inn in Cranford, hosted special guest, Governor Thomas Kean. Physics professor, Dr. Uri Haber-Schaim was the convention speaker. Audrey Brainard was elected to the Board of Directors of the Council of Elementary Science International in 1983, and Bernice M. Dunkerley and James R. Stamey received Elementary Science Awards. Super Science Weekend took place at the end of January and focused on the theme of electricity. The Annual Spring Meeting, hosted by Merck, took place on May 12, and Dorothy Lehmkuhl received the NJSTA Fellows Award. Other notable awards for 1983 were received by Silvio Crespo, Jr, as Outstanding Earth Science Teacher; William Hamilton, American Chemical Society Teacher of the Year; George Gross and George Hague, Jr. were named national candidates to represent NJ as part of the 1983 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching.
During the year of 1984, Audrey Brainard fulfilled the duties of president. Barbara Nadolny accepted the Fellows Award at the spring meeting, which took place on May 16 at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Plant in Forked River, and Anna Daily received the NSTA Exemplary Science Teacher Award.
In 1985, James Gardner was the NJSTA president; The NJSC changed locations to the Holiday Inn in Somerset, NJ on October 8-9, where it is still held today. Anna Daily received the NSTA Exemplary Science Teacher Award. Commissioner of Education, Saul Cooperman, and the NJ State Board of Education presented outstanding achievement awards during 1985. Fred Blumenthal received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching; Gertrude Clarke and Rose Marie LaBella, were state level winners in the presidential award competition. Dr. Abby B. Bergman received a national award from NSTA’s Search for Excellence in Science Education program (SESE), and Robert De Blasi, Bernice Hanson, and Jean Speck, were state level recipients in the SESE program. Also honored in 1985 were NEWMAST participants Adela Dziekanowski, Richard Lees, Sara Wyckoff, Anita Brady, Joseph Spaccavento, and Mary Capriotti. These awardees attended a special three-day symposium in October at Kennedy Space Flight Center to view the launch of the space shuttle.
James Kamsar served his term as president in 1986. The first annual NJ Environmental Education conference took place this year at the Somerset County Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge. 1986 was the year of Halley's Comet. Unfortunately, it was also the year of the Challenger disaster. NJ chemistry teachers sponsored a Christa McAuliffe Memorial Scholarship. The first annual NJ Environmental Education conference took place this year at the Somerset County Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge, and NJSTA Elementary Workshops were held in Cape May on Feb. 22 and Georgian Court College on March 15. May 20 was the date for the Annual Spring Meeting at AT&T's Engineering Research Center in Princeton, with Larry Siefert, General Manager, as the evening's speaker. Fellows Award recipients were Sr. Mary Nicholas Farley and Tom Wurtenberger. Dr. Lynn Margulis, Professor of Biology at Boston University, was the keynote speaker at NJSC held on October 8-9. George Hague was elected to a three-year term as NSTA's High School Director, and state-level Presidential Awardees were Alice Olszewski, Deborah Cook, and Mary Masterson.
Nan Brown was president during 1987. NJSTA once again was represented at Super Science Weekend at the State Museum on January 24 and 25. Our annual conference was held in Asbury Park on October 6 and 7, and the banquet speaker was the Executive Director of the NJ Sci-Tech Center, Charles Howarth. The Annual Spring Meeting took place on May 19 at the Agricultural Products Division of American Cyanamid Company in Princeton. The dinner speaker was I. V. Gramlich. Attendees were treated to a tour of the facilities. Howard Fuhrmann was chosen as a delegate of the Citizen Ambassador Program and visited the People’s Republic of China to exchange ideas with Chinese science educators. State level winners of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching were Sister Karen C. Dietrich, SSJ, Alan Schwartz, and Yvette Van Hise.
Irwin Gawley held the office of NJSTA President in 1988. Our convention took place at the Berkeley Carteret Hotel in Asbury Park on October 4 and 5. The featured speakers were Dr. Le Moine Motiz, NSTA President; Emma Walton, National Science Supervisors Association President, and Dr. Saul Cooperman, NJ Commissioner of Education. The banquet speaker was Dr. Ruth Turner from Harvard University, speaking on, “Deep Sea Exploration and Thermal Vents.” Audrey Brainard received the Citation Scroll Award that year. The Annual Spring Meeting was hosted by Johnson and Johnson in New Brunswick on May 11. A tour of the facility took place, and the dinner speaker was Dr. J. McConnell, Corporate Director of Advanced Technology, who spoke about current technology in the health care industry. Paul Rockman, David Lee, and Nan Brown were all recipients of the Fellows Award. Three science teachers were recognized as state level recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics: Dolores Congedo; Erick Mollenhaer, and Averil Ipril.
With James Messersmith serving as president for 1989, the first CES-NJ Conference took place in Princeton on March 19. The Annual Spring Meeting was hosted by the Foster Wheeler Corp. in Union Twp. (Hunterdon County), on May 10, and NJSC, October 3-4, was once again held in Asbury Park. Thomas Fangman was the Citation Scroll recipient, and Larry Flinn, of Flinn Scientific, was presented with the Atkins Award. The Sci-Tech Center was formally renamed as Liberty Science Center, and NSTA held one of its area conventions in Atlantic City in December.
Howard Kimmel served as president in 1990. NJSTA sponsored an exhibit table at Super Science Weekend in January and an elementary teacher’s workshop at Vineland High School on February 3. The Annual Spring Meeting was held at Schering Plough in Kenilworth on May 9. A tour of the company facilities took place. The evening’s topic was, “Issues of Bio Technology; Disciplines Work with Many Disciplines.” NJSC was held at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset for the first time on October 2 and 3, and NSTA Presidential Award winners at the state level were Irene Lees, Wanda Rinker, and Henry Gary. A new addition to the NJSTA newsletter was a report by Dorothy Lehmkuhl on retired members and their activities.
In 1991, Beverly Nelson, served as president. The first Elementary Super Science Saturday took place at the Judd School in North Brunswick on January 26, with 120 educators in attendance. Fourteen presenters shared their ideas and materials for elementary science during 21 workshops. The third annual Council of Elementary Science Conference was held at the Hun School in Princeton on March 19, and the Annual Spring Meeting, May 22, was hosted by the Essex County Resource Recovery Facility. NJSTA members heard about the latest in “garbage burning” technology during their “hard-hat” tour. The first Science Olympiad Training Institute was held at the Pocono Environmental Education Center in June, with 18 teachers attending. NJSTA sponsored a T-shirt logo contest this year, and the winners, Jonathan Daus, a teacher at Churchill Jr. HS in East Brunswick, and his student, Ivy Yeh, were announced during NJSC, October 1-2. At the end of the year, the NJSTA newsletter took on a new look with some color in its headings and lettering.
Nineteen-Ninety Two (1992) was International Space Year, and Constance Orban was NJSTA president. In February, The NJ State Aquarium opened in Camden, offering another new way to learn about science, and Liberty Science Center in Jersey City opened in October as the area’s largest interactive science center. Elementary Super Science Saturday continued its success on January 25, with 160 teachers attending their choice of 21 different workshops. The Annual Spring Meeting took place at the Morristown headquarters of JCP&L on May 18. The highlight of the evening was a ‘Letric Van ride tour of system operations. Two very special people addressed NJSC in 1992. A resident of Gibbstown, NJ during her school-age years, well-known deep sea explorer and former chief scientist at NOAA, Dr. Sylvia Earle, was the October 14 banquet speaker. Dr. Saul Cooperman, president of Educate America, Inc. and former NJ Education Commissioner, spoke at the October 15 banquet. His topic was, “A National Achievement Examination: An Idea Whose Time Has Come.” A review of the newsletters for this year showed an extraordinary number of science workshops and activities in which teachers and students could take part. Jim Messersmith began offering a variety of classroom science activities, published in the NJSTA newsletter. Beverly Nelson was named NSTA District II Director.
Nineteen-ninety three (1993) was a very busy year. Numerous professional development opportunities, such as Elementary Super Science Saturday and the CES-NJ Conference, continued to be offered. There were also elementary and middle school science workshops sponsored by NJSTA in Vineland on Feb. 20, and Audrey Brainerd and Denise Wrubel organized, “Literature and Science Together” workshops at four different locations throughout the state. Alexander O’ Brien was NJSTA president, and the first NJ Science Olympiad took place on March 30 at Rider College. NSTA Presidential Awardees were Bernice Blum-Bart and Barbara Pietrucha. At the state level, Presidential Awards were accepted by Vickie Bejda, Edward O’Conner, James Ealy, Jr, Kathleen Beddingfield, John Hilkevich, and Alma Edly. Our Spring Meeting took place on May 25 at the WWOR-TV Studios in Secaucus, with a studio and facility tour. Fellow Awards were presented to Alma Edly, Constance Orban, and Pocohantas Jones. NJSC, October 5-6, featured Mr. and Mrs. Fish (Jess Sandler and Deb Hall Sandler), marine science educators as the Annual Banquet speakers. Dr. Howard Kimmel was the recipient of a centennial medallion from the American Society for Engineering Education, given at its 100th Annual Conference, and Johnette Bennett, of North Warren Regional HS, was the NJ Biology Teacher of the Year.
In 1994, Denise Wrubel presided as president, as NJSTA continued its numerous professional development opportunities, along with contests and activities for students. The Buehler Challenger Center opened in Paramus and Merck State Science Day winners were listed for the first time in the NJSTA newsletter. State level Presidential Awardees were Gail Fisher, Danita Cronin, Janice Tolley, Frank Darytichen, Michael Lawrence, and Rita Wolff-Reichert. The Annual Spring Meeting at the Panasonic Industrial Company on May 10 included a tour of the computer center, and Dr. Rodger W. Bybee, Associate Director of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study at The Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO, spoke about National Science Standards as the NJSC (October 4-5) Annual Banquet speaker.
In 1995, Dr. Howard Parish assumed the NJSTA presidency, and we were fortunate to be nearby as the NSTA national conference took place in March in Philadelphia. Sandra Jordan, a middle school teacher in Vernon, received the NSTA Gustav Ohaus award, and Jim Messersmith and Dr. Mitch Batoff continued to publish, in our newsletter, many challenging activities for use in the classroom. Numerous offerings for professional development through Pinelands Day, NJ BISEC, CES-NJ, and the NJ Audubon Society, continued to take place throughout the year. The Science Olympiad, March 15, continued to grow, with many corporate sponsors and a total of 50 NJ schools participating. The Annual Spring Meeting was enjoyed by those in attendance, who were treated to a buffet dinner and plant tour on May 10 at the AT&T plant in Clark, NJ. Mary Ann Savino was honored as the recipient of the Fellows Award. Professor John R. Horner, Professor of Geology and Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University, Bozeman was the October 11 NJSC banquet speaker.
The year 1996 was the year of Alma Edly as our president, and the beginning of National Science Education Standards. All the major NJSTA professional development workshops continued drawing large numbers and a great variety of activities. Notable were the announcements of more and more workshops introducing teachers to computer technology instruction and the Internet. State Level Presidential Science Awardees were Deborah Orzechowski, John Penna, Thomas Tokar, Ilene Levine, Chi Kyong Kim, and Daryl Taylor. Announcement was made of the many awards received in 1995-96 by chemistry teacher and Executive VP, John Penna. His awards included the Middle Atlantic Regional Award for Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching, the Homer J. Hall Educator Award from the NJ Institute of Chemists, the Tandy Prize for Teaching Excellence in Math and Science, and the Distinguished Teacher Award. The Annual Spring Meeting took place at the Exxon Research and Engineering Company in Clinton, NJ on May 23 with Glenn Wolfrom and Mary Phillips receiving Fellows Awards. NJSC celebrated its 20th anniversary on October 8 and 9 with pioneering environmental attorney, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. as the keynote speaker at the Annual Banquet. The Awards Banquet speaker was Jim Fowler, Executive Director of Mutual of Omaha’s Wildlife Heritage Center.
Frank Rice moved to the head of the line as NJSTA president in 1997, and NJSTA now had an Internet homepage. Workshops on environmental education, an increasingly important science topic, were being added to the large number of professional developmental offerings. Ilene J. Levine was a national-level Presidential Award winner, and Thomas Fangman was selected as the Nation’s Outstanding Science Supervisor. Dr. George Gross received the Chemical Manufacturers Associations’ Catalyst Award for Excellence in Chemistry Teaching. “Building a Presence for Science,” was introduced, and the Annual Spring Meeting was held on May 15 at the BOC Gases facility in Murray Hill. NJSC, October 7-8, featured Milbury Polk, writer, photographer, and director of Virtual XPLORATIONS, as the Annual Banquet speaker. Howard Fuhrmann was presented with a Special Award for his service of 29 years as NJSTA’s treasurer.
The president’s gavel was transferred to Adela Dziekanowski for 1998, and we launched our new, and current website. Numerous professional development activities were reported in the newsletter, and Jim Messersmith continued to include a wide range of interesting classroom science experiments for all grade levels. President Dziekanowski had the opportunity to address the State Board of Education in March with regard to its plans for statewide science professional development. NSTA award winners this year were Martin Shields, who received the NSTA Water Works Association Award, and Susan Roche, who received the CIBA Specialty Chemicals Middle School Level Science Teaching Award. Beverly Nelson and Linda Smith were names State Level Presidential Awardees. Dr. Bruce Marganoff, NJ State Science Director, reported that NJ was among three states to receive an “A” rating for our Core Curriculum Content Standards in Science. The Annual Spring Meeting on May 7 was definitely a “Great Adventure,” as NJSTA members visited the park to learn about the physics behind the rides. NJSC, October13-14, featured Sister Mary Virginia Orna, a professor at College of New Rochelle. Her presentation was titled, “Doing Chemistry at the Art/Archaeology Interface.”
John Penna, “Good Will Hunting,” was NJSTA’s leader for 1999. Early in the year, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Sister Mary Nicholas Farley, a well-known NJSTA educator and Fellows Award Winner. The initiative for “Building a Presence for Science,” began to make a stronger impact, and Al Musumano was named the NJ State Coordinator for this program. The Annual Spring Meeting took place on May 27 at the Hackensack Meadowlands Environment Center, where members were treated to a tour of the facility, as well as some great bird watching. Fellows Awards were presented to Ruth Mortensen and Sandra Buleza.NSTA, in Boston, hosted NJ Tandy Award Winners, Vickie Bejda,Borislaw Bilash, Irina Lyublinskaya, Nancy Miller, and Margaret Anne Holzer. Diane Krone was the HS winner of the Gustav Ohaus Awards for Innovations in Science Teaching. Beverly Nelson and Linda Smith were honored as National Presidential Awardees. Dr. Emlyn H. Koster, Ph.D. was the NJSC Annual Banquet speaker on October 12. Dr. Koster is the President and CEO of Liberty Science Center, and his talk was titled, “Odysseys into the Biosphere: Lessons Learned, Lessons Shared.” The Annual Awards Banquet on October 13 featured many award winners, along with special honors for all past presidents of NJSTA.
Glenn Wolfrom moved into the President’s chair in the year 2000. The Annual Spring Meeting took place on May 25 at Liberty Science Center with members enjoying a, “behind-the-scenes” tour of IMAX technology, an IMAX film, and new LSC exhibits. John Penna was presented with the NJSTA Fellows Award. NSTA, in Orlando, honored Maureen Barrett with the OHAUS Award, and Barbara Pietrucha was elected to represent the NSTA Middle School Division. Linda Smith was named Gloucester County Teacher of the Year. The NJSC, October 11-12, hosted Dr. Eric R. Wieschaus, Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton, as its Annual Banquet speaker. His presentation was titled, “Humans as a Model Organism in Doing Molecular Genetics.” Jim Messersmith retired and ended his newsletter contributions, which we would all miss.
With Gene McNicholas as NJSTA president in 2001, a special family event took place in March at Liberty Science Center that included special activities just for NJSTA members. Mitch Batoff's, Mental Gymnastics, became a highlight of the NJSTA newsletter, and other mainstay features, such as Chemtag Comer and announcements of the various science-related activities throughout New Jersey, continued. Dr. Batoff received the NSTAlNJSTA Citation for Distinguished Service to Science Education in 2001. Beverly Nelson was elected to the NSTA Board as High School Director, and National Presidential Awardees were Helen Chang, elementary, and Martin Shields, secondary. The Annual Spring Meeting was held on May 9 at Lucent Technologies and included a tour of the Bell Labs Museum. Dr. Doris White received the Citation Scroll, and Katherine Butler and Nina Visconti-Phillips became NJSTA Fellows. October 9 and 10 were the dates for NJSC. The banquet speaker was Dr. Richard A. Lutz, Cook College marine biology professor, and Dr. Nan Brown received the Citation Scroll at the Awards Dinner.
The year 2002 dawned with Sandra Buleza as our president. This year, in addition to the many awards designated for NJSTA members, the Doris White Memorial Scholarship was instituted. This new award, given to students enrolled in a Teacher Education Program at a NJ institution of higher learning, honors Dr. White for her, "unfailing enthusiasm for and devotion to both scientific research and the professional development of teachers." The Annual Spring Meeting took place on May 8 at Liberty Science Center. A tour of LSC's newest exhibits were enjoyed by NJSTA members, along with an address by Phil Lurie, CEO of Logical Approach, a new technology company. Dr. Nancy J. Evans and Dr. Mitchell E. Batoff received Fellows Awards. NJSC took place October 15-16 with Dr. Theo Colborn, Senior Program Scientist and Director of the Wildlife and Contaminants Program at World Wildlife Fund, as the Annual Banquet guest speaker. Her program was entitled, An 'A' Student Begins in the Womb. Awardees at the Annual Awards Banquet were Alma Edly, Citation Scroll, and Robert Curtis and Paul Rockman, Special Awards.
Two-Thousand Three (2003), with Deborah Orzechowski at the helm, was an eventful science year: the unfortunate loss of Columbia, the NSTA National Convention in Philadelphia, and the 100th anniversary of flight. NJSTA started to make plans for its own 100th anniversary in 2005, and the Northern and Central Regions held seminars and workshops. CES-NJ revamped its annual conference and held it in November at the Salem Community College in the southern part of the state. The Annual Spring Meeting took place on May 7 at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab where members were treated to a tour of the facility, physics demos, and dinner. Ed Colangelo, Jim Messersmith, and Barbara Pietrucha were Fellows Award recipients. NJSC took place on October 14-15 with Nobel Laureate, Dr. Leon Lederman as the Annual Banquet speaker. Special Awards were presented to Frank Rice and Beverly Nelson at the Awards Banquet.
Nancy Evans Bennett was our elected president in 2004. The NJ Science Olympiad held competitions as three regional divisions this year, Northern (run by Sandy Buleza) Central (run by John Penna), and Southern (run by Linda Smith), enabling more students to participate. NJSTA was pleased to announce that our own Barbara Pietrucha would be a candidate on the NSTA ballot as President-elect. Numerous science professional development opportunities continued to be highlighted, along with NJST A sponsored activities such as Elementary Science Saturday and Super Science Weekend. CES-NJ was hosted this year by Rowan University. All participants were treated to a show in Rowans' new planetarium. The Annual Spring Meeting took place on May 5 at the Princeton Materials Institute with a tour of the Imaging Analysis Center, speaker Dr. Paul Chaikin, and a buffet dinner. Nancy Evans Bennett was honored with the Fellows Award. Linda Smith was named a NASA Educator Ambassador, one of only 25 in the nation. This year, the endeavor to make changes to our Constitution began in earnest; we were informed that Maitland P. Simmons, NJSTA president, 1954, left a substantial amount of money to NJST A for the use of scholarships, and our 100th anniversary celebration for 2005 began to take shape. NJSC took place on October 13-14, where our new logo and banner, handsomely designed by Ed Colangelo and Rich Tormey, were unveiled. We Touch the World ... We Teach, and NJSTA was ready to start its 100th year.
Dr. Mitchell E. Batoff received the honor of serving as our president for our 100th anniversary year, 2005. The first key event occurred in February as many Executive Board members met to begin work on a ten year Strategic Plan. This plan continued to develop throughout the year, and implementation is scheduled to begin in 2006. Our first anniversary event, Science Education Career Day, took place at the Busch Campus-Rutgers, on May 22. The day prior, May 21, NJSTA helped the NJ State Museum celebrate the 25th anniversary of Super Science Weekend by continuing our participation in this event as demonstrators of science activities. That weekend was also a very special one for Science Olympiad as the Community Middle School team from West Windsor-Plainsboro, with one of the best-ever scores, captured the gold medal at the National Science Olympiad at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Team members also received four-year partial scholarship offers from UI. The high school teams representing NJ, Montgomery HS and The Lawrenceville School, won medals by placing 16th and 21st respectively, out of 60 teams. A UI faculty member, who is a Nobel Laureate, presented team members with their medals. These students also received full tuition scholarship offers. The Annual Spring Meeting took place on May 4 at the Raritan Valley Community College where members enjoyed a planetarium show and buffet dinner. Deborah Orzechowski and Genella Gerardi were Fellows Award honorees. Committee work on the Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award continued, and based on Constitutional changes, new election and balloting procedures were put into place in 2005.
NJSTA looked forward to culminating its 100th year during NJSC, October 5-6, where Dr. William Librera, NJ Commissioner of Education, addressed the convention. The Awards Banquet honored Allene Johnson, Citation Scroll, George Gross, Special Award, and Anthony J. Makoujy, Atkins Award. All past NJSTA presidents were invited to attend the NJSC Annual Banquet, and the very special keynote speaker was Dr. Sally Ride. Her topic was "Leadership and America's Future in Space." With Dr. Ride as the catalyst, NJSTA launched its next 100 years as its members, through their dedication to science and education, embraced their commitment to teach and touch the world.
NJSTA 2006 - 2016
2006 Karen A. Galley
2007 Nancy N. Miller
2008 Tom Smith
2009 Nina Visconti-Phillips
2010 Chris Lijoi
2011 Linda Smith
2012 Barbara DeSantis
2013 Angela Best
2014 Kathy Ernst
2015-2016 Scott Goldthorp
2017-2018 Linda Smith
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