Kathy Kitzmann wins James Bryant Conant Award

Kathy Kitzmann has won the James Bryant Conant award for High School Chemistry Teaching. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. sponsors this award to recognize, encourage and stimulate outstanding teachers of high school chemistry in the United States, its possessions or territories, at the national level.

Two women holding tie-dyed cloth.

Kathy at ChemEd 2013.

When asked for her advice to fellow teachers, Kathy responded:

My advice to all chemistry teachers is to develop an attitude of ‘give and take’.  ‘Give’ to other teachers by sharing your ideas and presenting at conferences as much as possible. ‘Take’ the ideas of others, adapt them, and use them to make your teaching better. You are teaching the best subject. Enjoy each and every day!

The nomination deadline for next year’s James Bryant Conant award is November 1, 2014.

Want to see Kathy in action? She posted a video of her safety talk that she gives the second day of classes. Dressed as “Ima Kemist”, a “former student”, she shows her students “how to do a chem experiment”. Basically, Ima commits all the safety mistakes you could imagine and Kathy’s students are challenged to identify what she is doing wrong. This is an engaging way to go over safety. If you do not have Kathy’s acting ability, you can always show the video. Teachers will be all too familiar with all the safety infractions.

Kathy’s video

This is based on the “Flinn Laboratory Safety Challenge”.